Pritzker again breaks veto promise, signs gerrymandered congressional maps
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed the congressional district map designed to boost Democrats in the U.S. House. With districts that snake and twist across the state, gerrymandering remains a hallmark of Illinois politics despite Pritzker’s pledge to veto such maps.
Gov. J.B Pritzker signed a new congressional map designed by Democrats in the state legislature to send 14 Democrats to Washington after the mid-term elections.
Experts indicate the remap aims to create a new Democratic district in Illinois while dissolving two GOP districts, following the state’s loss of a congressional seat because of population decline reported in the 2020 Census.
Illinois now sends 13 Democrats and five Republicans to the U.S. House of Representatives. The exclusively Democrat-designed map looks to bolster candidates’ chances at reelection moving into 2022 primaries and protect the slim national Democratic majority in the U.S. House.
The map would see two pairs of incumbent Republican candidates compete after being drawn into the same districts as well as one pair of Democratic candidates face off. It would also create three new open-seat districts in the state, including a new Latino district.
Members of Congress do not have to live in the district they represent.
Pritzker had repeatedly promised to veto partisan maps, even campaigning on amending Illinois’ constitution to create an independent commission responsible for drawing state legislative maps.
But Pritzker reneged on his promise and signed a gerrymandered state legislature remap, which was ruled unconstitutional for violating the state’s “equal protection” clause. The same legislative map passed by Pritzker received an F grade from the Princeton Gerrymandering Project’s Redistricting Report Card.
Pritzker has stopped promising a non-partisan redistricting process to Illinoisans. He was expected to sign the gerrymandered congressional map, an action he justified Nov. 23 by saying the “maps align with the landmark Voting Rights Act and will ensure all communities are equitably represented in our congressional delegation.”
Legal challenges are expected.