NORMAL — Illinois Republicans on Wednesday urged Gov. J.B. Pritzker to “uphold his promise” and veto a Democrat-proposed state legislative redistricting map.
“What we saw in Springfield these last two weeks was an absolute mockery of fair and transparent redistricting processes,” U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis, R-Taylorville, said Wednesday afternoon during a press conference in uptown Normal.
The proposed legislative redistricting map on Friday passed through both houses and now heads to Pritzker’s desk for approval. The Senate passed the map 41-18 and the House approved it 71-45, with only Democrats voting in favor and all Republicans voting against.
Pritzker, a Democrat, has not said whether he plans to approve the map, but has said he would veto “an unfair map.” He has not given details on what an unfair map would entail.
As a Democratic candidate for governor in 2018, Pritzker said he wanted an independent, nonpartisan commission to create the districts.
Davis was joined on Wednesday by Republican state Sen. Jason Barickman and Rep. Dan Brady, both of Bloomington. The lawmakers pointed to an interview Pritzker had during his campaign for governor.
Barickman criticized the process, which he said was done behind closed doors, and for using the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2015-2019 American Community Survey Data. He said the data was inaccurate and flawed.
“The sole purpose of these gerrymandered maps is to maintain one party control in the iron-type grip the Democrats have on our state,” he said. “Gov. Pritzker has the sole power alone to change this. These are politician-drawn maps that do not allow Illinoisans to be represented.”
Barickman said the majority of Illinoisans want an independent redistricting process. He said the redistricting affects not only state elections, but elections on a national level by limiting voter choice in candidates.
That is why, Barickman said, it is important for Illinois lawmakers to keep the focus on the people and ensure fair representation.
Democrats have defended the use of the ACS data, which they said was off by a fraction of a percentage. It was used in lieu of the delayed release of the 2020 census redistricting data that would typically be used.
The result, Republican lawmakers said Wednesday, is a gerrymandered legislative map.
“Politicians shouldn’t be picking their constituents,” said Brady. “Constituents should be picking their politicians, their representatives, their senators, under a fair map process.
“This isn’t good government, ladies and gentlemen.”