McConchie: It didn’t have to be this way

Democrats’ brazen efforts to hold power, protect entrenched politicians and insiders forced the ongoing lawsuit

“This ruling is a disappointment, but that does not mean we will ever stop fighting for independent maps in Illinois,” said Illinois Senate Republican Leader Dan McConchie (R-Hawthorn Woods). “While we didn’t get the outcome we believe the people of Illinois deserve, the fact remains that Gov. Pritzker and his cronies broke their promises and failed Illinois families.

“It didn’t have to be this way. Gov. Pritzker could have kept his promise to support independent redistricting, but instead signed a map that was ruled unconstitutional and another that was opposed by voting rights groups throughout Illinois. Gov. Pritzker and his Democratic allies have made their allegiance clear: they are more committed to protecting the same political insiders who have been wrecking our state for decades than defending voting rights in Illinois.”

 

Timeline

  • 2018: As a candidate in 2018, Governor JB Pritzker makes an unequivocal promise to voters that he will support independent maps and veto any map drawn by politicians or their allies.
  • March 2021: Republican members of the General Assembly gave him that option by introducing legislation that would allow an independent commission, rather than politicians, to draw the map. Gov. Pritzker remained silent as Democrats refused to even grant the legislation a hearing.
  • Spring 2021: Despite dozens of witnesses’ requests for more time and the use of accurate data, Democrats moved forward using flawed ACS data, rather than actual census data, to ensure they could pass a map drawn by entrenched Democratic politicians behind closed doors.
  • June 2021: A few days later, Gov. Pritzker broke his promise and signedthe inaccurate, politician-drawn maps, claiming that they represented the diversity of Illinois and complied with the Voting Rights Act.
  • June 2021: Following the signing, Illinois Republicans and Mexican American Legal Defense Fund(MALDEF) both filed suit against House Speaker Chris Welch and Senate President Don Harmon for violating the voting rights of the people of Illinois.
  • August 2021: Official U.S. Census numbers confirmed that the Democrats’ politician-drawn mapviolated the U.S. Constitution and federal law, as well as comparable provisions of the Illinois Constitution.
  • August 2021: In an attempt to save their partisan power play, Democrats came back to Springfield to pass a re-do draft of their map.
  • September 2021: Gov. Pritzker broke his promise a second time and signedthe re-do maps.
  • October 2021: While the legislature was in town to pass a Congressional map, the Democrats’ first map was declared unconstitutional in federal court, and plaintiffs were asked to submit their maps in a remedial phase.
  • December 2021: Ruling upholding second Democratic map is issued.

 

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