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Independent Maps Announces $1 Million Summer Media Campaign

Rally - Independent Map Amendment from Independent Map Amendment on Vimeo.

CHICAGO – The Independent Maps coalition on Friday began a $1 million summer television and digital ad campaign to tell voters how they can change the system with fair elections that will make politicians listen to voters.

"Illinois voters are frustrated with the current dysfunction in their state government and the fact that they have only one candidate to vote for in 60 percent of state legislative races," said Dennis FitzSimons, Chair of the non-profit, non-partisan Independent Maps. "So from now through the November election, we intend to increase voter awareness of the current map drawing process that causes their frustration and tell them how they can change this broken system.”

The 30-second ad “Rally” tells voters: “You can rally. You can organize. You can exercise your right to vote. But because politicians in Springfield rig the system and draw the boundaries of their own districts so they can’t lose, nothing ever changes, and no one is held accountable for the culture of corruption or the budget stalemate. But by voting ‘yes’ on the Independent Map Amendment, citizens can change the system with fair elections that will make politicians listen to voters.”

A companion 15-second commercial “Organize” carries the same, but shortened message.

“The current system allows legislators to draw their own district lines behind closed doors to maximize their advantage and reduce choices for voters,” FitzSimons said. “And the inherent conflict of interest needs to be crystal clear to voters. Poll after poll has shown strong voter support for reforming the way legislative district maps are drawn, and that popularity translated into more than 560,000 signatures on petitions to place the Independent Map Amendment on the 2016 ballot.”

A spring poll by the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute found 64 percent of Illinois voters support having an independent commission draw legislative maps.

“Voters have indicated they want district maps drawn in a transparent, impartial and fair manner,” FitzSimons said. “Defenders of the status quo know that, too. That’s why they’ve spread misinformation about the amendment and have gone to court asking that citizens be denied the chance to change a system that allows legislators to pick their voters versus voters picking their legislators.”

The initial round of commercials will be broadcast across the state by TV stations and aired on several cable and satellite TV channels. Voters will also be reached through digital media messaging on computers, tablets and smart phones.

“We will not let our opponents silence us,” said Dave Mellet, Campaign Manager for Independent Maps. “The entrenched politicians want to confuse voters and undermine our support through a lengthy legal battle, but we’re not going to sit on our hands while they play their legal games. With the help of volunteers throughout Illinois, we are determined to wage an aggressive campaign to explain to voters why maps drawn by an impartial, independent commission can help produce a government representative of Illinois and responsive to voters.”

The Independent Maps coalition also appealed to supporters to make a contribution to help wage the court battle and pay for the fall media campaign. “Every contribution, large and small, helps us better inform voters,” FitzSimons said. “We encourage Illinoisans to visit our website – – to learn more and to click the ‘Donate’ button to help us expand the campaign.”

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Paid for by Support Independent Maps.  A copy of our report filed with the State Board of Elections is (or will be) available on the Board's official website or for purchase from the Illinois State Board of Elections, Springfield, Illinois.