During the first few months of 2011, municipalities, counties, as well as the state of Illinois will engage in the process of redistricting to reflect population shifts based on Census 2010 data. Redistricting is mandated. It is an important process that all of us should know about since it determines which voters are represented by which legislative districts.
In the past, districts were drawn to protect incumbents, reduce competitiveness and, in the end, give voters little choice at election time. In short, Illinois' process has been political backroom maneuvering at its worst.
Hopefully, things will change in 2011. DuPage County must draw new boundaries for its 6 districts. These new districts will affect voters for the next decade. The county board is made up of three members from each district for a total of 18 commissioners, currently consisting of 15 Republicans and 3 Democrats. A committee to advise DuPage County's redistricting process has already begun meeting.
The League of Women Voters has held a position on redistricting since 1993; it believes that redistricting must be an open and transparent process that offers ample opportunity for public reaction to proposed maps, and encourages compromise among partisan interests so that the interests of all voters can be met at election time.
As presidents of local leagues in DuPage County, we encourage members of the DuPage County Redistricting Committee to let those principles inform the mapmaking process. We also encourage members of the committee to appoint committee members who reflect differences that have occurred in the demographics of DuPage County during the past 10 years.
President, League of Women Voters of Naperville
and LWV presidents from Downers Grove/Woodridge/Lisle, Elmhurst, Glen Ellyn and Wheaton