Census delays ‘complicate’ Illinois redistricting, but most certain data will show ‘no surprises’ in other areas

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But creating uncertainty is the delay in the delivery of redistricting data.

Per the state constitution, the Illinois General Assembly has to adopt a map by June 30 in redistricting years. 

If it fails to meet that deadline, the process is turned over to an eight-person commission divided evenly between Democrats and Republicans.

If they cannot agree, as was the case in 1981, 1991 and 2001, the Illinois Secretary of State draws a name — either a Democrat or Republican — to break the tie. 

Though there is no similar deadline to draw Congressional maps, the Sept. 30 date leaves little time for candidates to circulate petitions for the March primary. Those must be filed by late November. 

Still, legislative Democrats, who have supermajorities in both chambers, have determined to keep the process in their hands by using alternative datasets. 

This could include using data from the American Community Survey or from another source. After all, the Illinois Constitution does not specify that census data must be used for the remap. 

"Failure to meet deadlines would upend the democratic process and turn map-making over to a small commission of appointed political insiders and, as history has shown, ultimately yield a more partisan result," said Illinois Senate President Don Harmon in an op-ed earlier this week. 

via pantagraph.com

March 20, 2021 at 12:18PM

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