The Illinois Farm Bureau® supports the Illinois Fair Map Amendment (IFMA) Initiative, which will change the way Illinois legislative districts are redrawn following each ten-year census. Every ten years, following the U.S. Census the state is required to redraw its legislative and congressional boundaries.


The Illinois Farm Bureau® supports the Illinois Fair Map Amendment (IFMA) Initiative, which will change the way Illinois legislative districts are redrawn following each ten-year census. Every ten years, following the U.S. Census the state is required to redraw its legislative and congressional boundaries. The task falls to the elected members of the Illinois legislature. If the two political parties can't agree on a map, then the name of one party is literally drawn out of a hat to do the job, and that party alone gets to determine the voting boundaries in the state for an entire decade.  It should be no surprise that Illinois is the only state in the U.S. to employ such a process.
 
If you look at the current map of voting districts, you can see how they've been manipulated by the political parties over the years, so that incumbents build "safe zones" to the tune of a 98% re-election rate since 2000.  Districts slither all over, sometimes covering hundreds of square miles, yet stretching only a block wide in some places.
 
However, there is a movement under way to bring the way districts are drawn back to the people, and away from the politicians.  The Illinois Fair Map Coalition is circulating petitions to change the redistricting laws, so that an independent commission--and not incumbent politicians--would redraw the maps.  The new maps would be drawn without regard to the incumbent party or political data.  The process would be transparent, resulting in maps that are fair, equal in population, and not snaking from one part of the state to another.
 
Registered voters may get involved by signing the IFMC petition--over 290,000 valid signatures of registered voters are needed by May 1 to get the law changed in time for the 2012 election cycle.  Otherwise, it's ten more years until we can even think about it again. Information regarding the amendment and petitions may be found at the Clay County Farm Bureau office. The office is located in Louisville across from Mike’s Market and is open from 8am to 4pm Monday thru Friday.