Local Lawmaker Looks To Change District Mapping System - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Local Lawmaker Looks To Change District Mapping System

Posted: Updated:
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Thomson Prison Gets Ready To Hire With Job Fair

    Thomson Prison Gets Ready To Hire With Job Fair

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 3:35 PM EDT2014-09-02 19:35:36 GMT
    The Federal Bureau of Prisons just announced it will be holding a job fair for a variety of jobs at the U.S. Penitentiary in Thomson, Ill. And it's not just prison guards that are needed.More >>
    The Federal Bureau of Prisons just announced it will be holding a job fair for a variety of jobs at the U.S. Penitentiary in Thomson, Ill. And it's not just prison guards that are needed.
    More >>
  • John Deere Road Motorist Ends Up In Corn Field

    John Deere Road Motorist Ends Up In Corn Field

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 2:38 PM EDT2014-09-02 18:38:22 GMT
    One person was involved in an early morning accident in Rock Island County. The driver wound up on the edge of a cornfield just off John Deere Road near Silvis, Ill.More >>
    One person was involved in an early morning accident in Rock Island County. The driver wound up on the edge of a cornfield just off John Deere Road near Silvis, Ill.More >>
  • Woman Taken To Hospital After ATV Crash On Wapsipinicon Sandbar

    Woman Taken To Hospital After ATV Crash On Wapsipinicon Sandbar

    Monday, September 1 2014 4:50 PM EDT2014-09-01 20:50:56 GMT
    Scene Of ATV Accident Saturday near Calamus, IAScene Of ATV Accident Saturday near Calamus, IA
    Conservation officers are reminding people to stay away from sandbars when using All-Terrain-Vehicles following a weekend accident.More >>
    Conservation officers are reminding people to stay away from sandbars when using All-Terrain-Vehicles following a weekend accident.More >>

Every ten years, after the US Census is done, legislative districts are mapped out in Illinois. One local lawmaker is looking to change the way that is done, in hopes of giving the public more of a voice. Right now, elected officials draw the map, choosing who and where they represent. That is often called gerrymandering, with incumbents frequently drawing the lines in a way that ensures more votes for themselves. State Representative Mike Smiddy is reintroducing an initiative that would involve a panel of citizens to make those decisions. He plans to bring forth the idea into the November veto session. A similar initiative failed within the last month, when courts took it off the ballot.

"This would just be a different way of doing it here in Illinois," Representative Smiddy said.

If approved, seven screened people would decide how the map would be drawn.

"It would have two Democrats, two Republicans, and three Independents," he said.

Some Illinois residents say the idea is fair.

"I think it makes sense because different people from different backgrounds can have a voice," Angel Parker said.

"That's always a good idea when people are in charge of how the government is ran," Kortni Coffey said. "That's how it's supposed to be anyways."

Rep. Smiddy says, ideally, the panel would create the map based on population, geography and demographics, making sure local communities and government units that often work together would not be divided into multiple districts. He says that is a problem that is embedded in the current system.

"Instead of the elected officials picking who they represent, I think it should be the people picking who represents them," he said.

He says he has received some backlash from other legislators, but he believes many are ready for the change.

"Leadership down in Springfield likes the old system because they get to choose how they do things," he said. "I think it's just something that needs to be done here in Illinois."

If the legislation passes in November, the panel initiative would go on the 2016 ballot for the public to vote up or down. Those results would apply to the 2020 map.

Powered by WorldNow

805 Brady Street, Davenport, IA 52803

Telephone: 563.383.7000
Fax: 563.383.7131
Email: news@kwqc.com

Can’t find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Young Broadcasting of Davenport, Inc. A Media General Company.