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Amendment Language

Illinois Independent Redistricting Amendment

The purpose of the 2016 Illinois Independent Redistricting Amendment is to change the current system of redistricting, where legislators draw the maps of General Assembly districts after each decennial census, and provide for a restructured, independent redistricting commission to draw the maps.

For the proposed Amendment to Article IV of the Constitution

YES [  ]

NO [  ]

Section 3. Legislative Redistricting

(a) The Independent Redistricting Commission comprising 11 Commissioners shall adopt and file with the Secretary of State a redistricting plan for Legislative Districts and Representative Districts by June 30 of the year following each Federal decennial census. Legislative Districts shall be contiguous and substantially equal in population. Representative Districts shall be contiguous and substantially equal in population. The redistricting plan shall comply with Federal law. Subject to the foregoing, the Commission shall apply the following criteria: (1) the redistricting plan shall not dilute or diminish the ability of a racial or language minority community to elect the candidates of its choice, including when voting in concert with other persons; (2) the redistricting plan shall respect the geographic integrity of units of local government; and (3) the redistricting plan shall respect the geographic integrity of communities sharing common social and economic interests, which do not include relationships with political parties or candidates for office. The redistricting plan shall not either intentionally or unduly discriminate against or intentionally or unduly favor any political party, political group or particular person. In designing the redistricting plan, the Commission shall consider party registration and voting history data only to assess compliance with the requirements in this subsection (a).

(b) For the purpose of conducting the Commissioner selection process, an Applicant Review Panel comprising three Reviewers shall be chosen in the following manner. Beginning not later than January 1 and ending not later than March 1 of the year in which the Federal decennial census occurs, the Auditor General shall request and accept applications to serve as a Reviewer. The Auditor General shall review all applications and select a pool of 30 potential Reviewers. The Auditor General should select applicants for the pool of potential Reviewers who would operate in an ethical and non-partisan manner by considering whether each applicant is a resident and registered voter of the State and has been for the four years preceding his or her application, has demonstrated understanding of and adherence to standards of ethical conduct and has been unaffiliated with any political party for the three years preceding appointment. By March 31 of the year in which the Federal decennial census occurs, the Auditor General shall publicly select by random draw the Panel of three Reviewers from the pool of potential Reviewers.

(c) Beginning not later than January 1 and ending not later than March 1 of the year in which the Federal decennial census occurs, the Auditor General shall request and accept applications to serve as a Commissioner on the Independent Redistricting Commission. By May 31, the Panel shall select a pool of 100 potential Commissioners. The Panel should select applicants for the pool of potential Commissioners who would be diverse and unaffected by conflicts of interest by considering whether each applicant is a resident and registered voter of the State and has been for the four years preceding his or her application, as well as each applicant’s prior political experience, relevant analytical skills, ability to contribute to a fair redistricting process and ability to represent the demographic and geographic diversity of the State. The Panel shall act by affirmative vote of two Reviewers. All records of the Panel, including applications to serve on the Panel, shall be open for public inspection, except private information about applicants for which there is no compelling public interest in disclosure. 

(d) Within 45 days after the Panel has selected the pool of 100 potential Commissioners, but not later than June 23 of the year in which the Federal decennial census occurs, the Speaker and Minority Leader of the House of Representatives and the President and Minority Leader of the Senate each may remove up to five of those potential Commissioners. Thereafter, but not later than June 30, the Panel shall publicly select seven Commissioners by random draw from the remaining pool of potential Commissioners; of those seven Commissioners, including any replacements, (1) the seven Commissioners shall reside among the Judicial Districts in the same proportion as the number of Judges elected therefrom under Section 3 of Article VI of this Constitution, (2) two Commissioners shall be affiliated with the political party whose candidate for Governor received the most votes cast in the last general election for Governor, two Commissioners shall be affiliated with the political party whose candidate for Governor received the second-most votes cast in such election and the remaining three Commissioners shall not be affiliated with either such political party and (3) no more than two Commissioners may be affiliated with the same political party. The Speaker and Minority Leader of the House of Representatives and the President and Minority Leader of the Senate each shall appoint one Commissioner from among the remaining applicants in the pool of potential Commissioners on the basis of the appointee’s contribution to the demographic and geographic diversity of the Commission. A vacancy on the Panel or Commission shall be filled within five days by a potential Reviewer or potential Commissioner from among the applicants remaining in the pool of potential Reviewers or potential Commissioners, respectively, in the manner in which the office was previously filled.

(e) The Commission shall act in public meetings by affirmative vote of six Commissioners, except that approval of any redistricting plan shall require the affirmative vote of at least (1) seven Commissioners total, (2) two Commissioners from each political party whose candidate for Governor received the most and second most votes cast in the last general election for Governor and (3) two Commissioners not affiliated with either such political party. The Commission shall elect its chairperson and vice chairperson, who shall not be affiliated with the same political party. Six Commissioners shall constitute a quorum. All meetings of the Commission attended by a quorum, except for meetings qualified under attorney-client privilege, shall be open to the public and publicly noticed at least two days prior to the meeting. All records of the Commission, including communications between Commissioners regarding the Commission’s work, shall be open for public inspection, except for records qualified under attorney-client privilege. The Commission shall adopt rules governing its procedure, public hearings and the implementation of matters under this Section. The Commission shall hold public hearings throughout the state both before and after releasing the initial proposed redistricting plan.  The Commission may not adopt a final redistricting plan unless the plan to be adopted without further amendment, and a report explaining its compliance with this Constitution, have been publicly noticed at least seven days before the final vote on such plan.

(f) If the Commission fails to adopt and file with the Secretary of State a redistricting plan by June 30 of the year following a Federal decennial census, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and the most senior Judge of the Supreme Court who is not affiliated with the same political party as the Chief Justice shall appoint jointly by July 31 a Special Commissioner for Redistricting. The Special Commissioner shall adopt and file with the Secretary of State by August 31 a redistricting plan satisfying the requirements set forth in subsection (a) of this Section and a report explaining its compliance with this Constitution. The Special Commissioner shall hold at least one public hearing in the State before releasing his or her initial proposed redistricting plan and at least one public hearing in a different location in the State after releasing his or her initial proposed redistricting plan and before filing the final redistricting plan with the Secretary of State. All records of the Special Commissioner shall be open for public inspection, except for records qualified under attorney-client privilege.

(g) An adopted redistricting plan filed with the Secretary of State shall be presumed valid and shall be published promptly by the Secretary of State.

(h) The Supreme Court shall have original jurisdiction in cases relating to matters under this Section.

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