Once again, a citizen-driven movement to change the process of drawing legislative districts has reached a milestone. Volunteers say they collected twice the necessary signatures to get a redistricting amendment on the November ballot.
That effort is laudable. We’re clapping. Hundreds of volunteers spent the past year standing at train stations, outside grocery stores and at concerts, festivals and sporting events, asking voters to sign their names to a petition. The goal? To change the system of gerrymandered legislative districts that serve the politicians, not the people, of Illinois.
Gathering the signatures and preparing them for submission to the Illinois State Board of Elections is a monstrous undertaking. Two years ago — the last time redistricting enthusiasts tried to get an amendment on the ballot — the group had to hire a metal fabricator to create a unique punch system to bind all the papers together. They built a special box for the piles of petitions and needed a forklift to load it onto a truck.