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The Map Room

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The Map Room
Jack Higgins
The Map Room

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Hey, wonks. Have you always fantasized about redistricting? Have you pored over maps of Illinois congressional districts, thinking, “If we moved Wheaton out of the 6th district, and added Des Plaines, we could change the Cook Partisan Voting Index from Even to D+2?” Yeah, you know you have. Until now, though, you haven’t had access to the precinct-level demographic information required to draw a map that complies with the Voting Rights Act.

That all changes today. Today, the General Assembly’s Redistricting Committee is opening a workstation on the 7th Floor of the Bilandic Building, 160 N. LaSalle St., where members of the public can draw their own dream maps.

According to a press release from Senate President John Cullerton:

At the workstation the public can draw boundaries of Illinois Congressional, Legislative and Representative districts to be considered by the Senate and House Redistricting Committees. Users will have access to a menu of census data including racial demographics along with current boundaries of wards, house districts, senate districts and counties. Interested parties will also have access to a facilitator which can offer technical assistance. The terminal will be located on the 7th Floor of the Bilandic Building in a joint, bi-cameral space dedicated to public redistricting efforts.

This is the first time Illinois’ Democrats have controlled the entire state government during a redistricting year. That means they can draw the map any way they want, and there’s nothing the Republicans can do but whine about “extreme partisanship.” I’m sure they’d welcome proposals to reduce the number of Republicans to pre-Abraham Lincoln levels. If you have any, call 217-558-3036 to make an appointment at the workstation.

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