After Governor Pritzker broke his promise to “veto any map that is in any way drafted or created by legislators, political party leaders and/or their staffs or allies,” State Representative Deanne Mazzochi (R-Elmhurst) announced a lawsuit was filed to challenge the legislative map that House Democrats created using inaccurate data and which they admitted on multiple occasions was drawn for political advantage.
House Democrats passed the map in the waning days of the Illinois spring session after the maps were drawn behind closed doors by unknown parties. The original legislation, HB 2777, ironically titled “Cemetery Oversight,” was gutted and replaced with the map boundaries. Mazzochi noted that the original bill’s sponsor–taken off the bill when it was amended to include the new map boundaries–also broke her promise that the original bill would not be used as a “shell” for some other bill.
“Regrettably, this is what people in Illinois have come to expect from Springfield government-falsehoods and broken promises,” Mazzochi said.
Despite strong recommendations made by numerous advocacy groups and Illinois citizens who testified at redistricting hearings asking for at least two weeks of notice and access to the underlying data, Democrats ignored their requests, passing the new map less than 24 hours after it was disclosed, and exclusively on partisan lines. The map’s sponsors admitted the new map was primarily based on American Community Survey data, which the U.S. Census bureau has stated should not be used to draw legislative boundaries. More than 50 good government and community advocacy organizations and leaders implored the General Assembly to wait for the release of official census counts, which are expected by August 16, 2021.
The lawsuit, filed by the Republican Majority Leaders in both state legislative chambers, argues that the use of American Community Survey (ACS) estimates violates the federal law, including well established “one-person, one-vote” principles under the U.S. Constitution. The ACS data also undercounts minority, rural and growing communities, which can lead to greater population disparities between districts in a way that violates federal law. Mazzochi noted that, “despite the ruling party’s pledge for honesty and transparency throughout the process, the people of Illinois were deprived of due process. Illinoisans are tired of broken promises and political games. This lawsuit will give the people of Illinois a chance to have their day in court.”