Broken Promises

Gov. JB Pritzker broke his campaign promise to Illinoisans on June 4 by signing two partisan, gerrymandered legislative maps into law that were drawn by Democrats behind closed doors.

Democratic lawmakers had rushed the map-making process forward despite the fact that federal census data was not available yet. Majority party map-makers instead relied on outdated and less accurate American Community Survey (ACS) data. Numerous advocacy groups testified in redistricting hearings, pleading with Democrats to wait for the release of actual census data later in the summer, but their requests were ignored.

As a candidate for Governor, Pritzker had repeatedly expressed his support for redistricting reform, going so far as to explicitly promise to veto any map drawn by politicians.

At a June 1 press conference, just a few days after the passage of the Democrats’ maps, the Governor told reporters that he had not reviewed the maps but would be reviewing them soon. Three short days later, the Governor failed to live up to his campaign promise and signed both partisan maps into law.

In addition, the Governor also signed a similarly gerrymandered Supreme Court map. Despite the fact that the Supreme Court districts hadn’t been changed in 60 years, Democrats had decided to redraw them this year. The Supreme Court remap effort follows a fall election in which a sitting Democratic Supreme Court Justice lost his retention vote, threatening the Democrats’ majority on the high court.

Jason Plummer

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