Illinois Republican Leaders Christine Radogno and Jim Durkin have asked the Illinois State Board of Elections to exercise its authority to grant the Yes to Independent Maps effort additional time to rehabilitate signatures they believe are valid.
Durkin and Radogno said Tuesday it is only fair that “an effort of this magnitude initiated by the citizens of Illinois deserves more time.”
“Hundreds of thousands of Illinoisans felt strongly enough to sign this petition. While we have not been involved in the campaign, we believe giving the Yes to Independent Maps more time to do their work is a benefit to all Illinoisans because it allows the process to move forward in a fair manner,” said Radogno.
The Yes to Independent Maps campaign is a citizen-led initiative to put on the ballot the question to voters this fall whether or not the State of Illinois should take the redistricting process out of the hands of lawmakers and into the hands of an independent commission.
“The last successful citizen’s initiative was the Cutback Amendment back in 1980. This process doesn’t happen very often and requires being very careful. There is plenty of time left before November, the process shouldn’t be rushed. The burden remains on the Independent Maps campaign to show it has enough valid signatures to get on the ballot.” said Durkin.
The Board of Election recently ruled that a sampling of petition signatures were not valid and therefore the effort would not have garnered the requisite 298,400 signatures to get the Yes to Independent Maps measure on the November ballot. Media outlets throughout the state have raised troubling questions that the validation process was rushed and not conducted in an even-handed way. “These questions provide further support that the process is best served by slowing it down and allowing them an opportunity to make their case,” added Radogno.
Representatives from Yes for Independent Maps disagree with the ruling and are in the process of rehabilitating rejected signatures by securing voter registration documents from local election offices around the state, visiting petition signers face to face and asking them to sign affidavits swearing the signature on the petition belongs to them.
“This is very laborious and time consuming effort. We urge the State Board of Elections to lift their arbitrary and unnecessary deadline so this group can have a few extra days to prove their case. It’s the right thing to do,” said Durkin.