Illinois’ long history of questionable election practices has become ingrained in American folklore. The state is known for phrases such as “vote early and vote often,” “graveyard precincts” and “ghost voting.” Following the 1960 presidential election, the Chicago Tribune concluded “once an election has been stolen in Cook County, it stays stolen.”
But, elections can be rigged without violating any laws. In fact, the most common method is embedded in the Illinois Constitution. That is the partisan gerrymandering of legislative districts.
The Illinois Reform Commission, appointed by Governor Pat Quinn, had harsh words for Illinois’ system of drawing legislative districts, declaring that it “deprives Illinois voters of fair representation,” that it places Illinois voters in direct conflict with legislators, and “regardless of which party wins, the people of Illinois are the losers…”
Even the framers of the 1970 Illinois Constitution have acknowledged that the system they devised has failed.
Senate Joint Resolution Constitutional Amendment 104 and House Joint Resolution Constitutional Amendment 56 take an initiative sponsored by the League of Women Voters and other government reform groups and puts it into legislation for General Assembly passage. The goal is reform the system and end the partisan gerrymandering of Illinois.
Illinois has a rare opportunity to end this legalized form of election fraud. But it will only happen if the public insists.
An Oct. 2009 survey by the Paul SImon Public Policy Institute shows strong public support for major political and ethical reforms in Illinois, including gerrymandering reform.
More than 71% of respondents disapprove of the current Illinois system for drawing legislative districts, with nearly 28% expressing strong disapproval. Turning the process over to a neutral party had the support of nearly 73% of respondents
The term "Gerrymander" was first used in the Boston Gazette of March 26, 1812 to describe a district that the newspaper likened to the shape of a salamander. Gerrymandering comes from combining salamander and the name of Elbridge Gerry, the governor of Massachusetts from 1810 to 1812, who signed into law a redistricting plan that was designed to benefit his political party. Read More
Illogical...dysfunctional...legalized protection racket.
Those are just some of the terms used by editorial writers from across Illinois in demanding gerrmandering reform. Read More.