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posted: 3/13/2014 12:01 AM

Legislative maps need to be fair

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Legislative maps need to be fair

With the primary election right around the corner, much discussion is focusing on term limits here in Illinois. I believe the true answer to the term limits question involves fairly drawing the legislative maps, and I know Dan Rutherford agrees with me on this important issue.

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Every decade, the Illinois legislative maps are redrawn to reflect changes and geographical shifts in the state's population. Since legislative districts are equally populated, state house and senate districts need to be remapped to maintain a level population across districts.

Under the state constitution, districts are supposed to be drawn in a "compact and contiguous" fashion. In reality, this rarely happens. Instead, our current redistricting process is often a closed, secretive, partisan affair designed to protect incumbent lawmakers and the political party in power.

This redistricting process produces Illinois elections that are often lopsided and, in many cases, uncontested.

We need to depoliticize the way it our state draws new political districts through the establishment of a transparent, independent redistricting process. We need to move away from today's party-influenced, incumbent-dominated districts and a step toward more competitive elections.

Dan Rutherford supports the Yes for Independent Maps campaign to adopt a constitutional amendment and establish an 11-member Independent Redistricting Commission. Under the amendment, the IRC would only draw the state legislative maps. The IRC would enact various safeguards to prevent partisan influences and ensure maximum balance, transparency and fairness in the new mapping process.

Rutherford believes fair and competitive legislative maps are good for Illinois.

Rebecca Bonovich

Cary

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