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MORE THAN 210,000 SIGNATURES COLLECTED ON PETITIONS FOR INDEPENDENT MAP AMENDMENT

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  July 28, 2015

MORE THAN 210,000 SIGNATURES COLLECTED ON PETITIONS

FOR INDEPENDENT MAP AMENDMENT

More than One-third of the Way to Goal of 600,000 Signatures to Establisha Non-Partisan Independent Redistricting Commission

CHICAGO – More than 210,000 Illinoisans have signed petitions to give voters an opportunity to make the Independent Map Amendment part of the Illinois Constitution and take partisan politics out of the redistricting process.

Dennis FitzSimons, Chair of Independent Maps, announced Tuesday that the non-partisan statewide coalition is more than one-third of the way toward its goal of 600,000 signatures.

“Three months after our petitions first hit the streets, we are more than one-third of the way toward our ambitious goal,” FitzSimons said. “A lot of hard work has gone into collecting the first 210,000 signatures, and there is more ahead of us. But the Independent Map Amendment is so popular with voters – and volunteers are so enthused and dedicated – that we are very confident that we will easily reach our goal.”

Independent Maps has been able to build on a statewide network of thousands of volunteers involved in two prior campaigns for an independent redistricting commission and has the benefit of getting an earlier start than those campaigns.

“Voters don’t want legislators drawing the boundaries of their own districts and are eager to sign and help fix this broken system,” FitzSimons said. “Last year, almost 60 percent of elections for the General Assembly were uncontested, and voters were frustrated by the absence of any choice. The Independent Map Amendment will create a system where voters choose their representatives instead of representatives choosing their voters.”

Petitions and instructions are available at www.MapAmendment.org.

To qualify for the ballot, Independent Maps must collect at least 290,216 valid signatures of registered voters – equal to 8 percent of the total number of votes cast in the most recent election for governor.

“Because opponents of reform will attempt to disqualify signatures and deny voters the opportunity to reform the system, we want to turn in twice as many signatures as the law requires,” said Cynthia Canary, Executive Director of Independent Maps. “Voters across Illinois have decided its not enough to sit at home and complain about government. They are getting involved in a campaign that can make legislators accountable to the people who elect them and not the politicians who draw the maps.”

The Independent Map Amendment would create an 11-member commission representing the demographic and geographic diversity of the state. The commission meetings and records would be open to the public, and the commission would be required to hold public hearings throughout the state. The commission drawn maps would be required to protect the voting rights of racial and ethnic minorities, and the maps would be drawn without regard to incumbency or partisanship. Adoption of the maps would require approval of seven commissioners, including at least two Democrats and two Republicans. The amendment text and more detailed explanation of the reform are available at www.MapAmendment.org.

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About Independent Maps

Independent Maps is a non-partisan statewide coalition supporting the petition campaign to place the Independent Map Amendment before voters in November 2016. The Independent Maps coalition’s board of directors includes prominent members of both major political parties, as well as leaders from the clergy, academia and philanthropic organizations. For more information, visit www.MapAmendment.org.

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 (www.elections.il.gov) or for purchase from the Illinois State Board of Elections, Springfield, Illinois.

Keywords: Canary, FItzSimons

Posted in News Releases

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.