If you’re a current subscriber, log in below. If you would like to subscribe, please click the subscribe tab above.
Username and Password Help
By BETH ZUMWALT
No spring primary in Illinois this year. The primary for governor, legislative offices, etc, will be June 28 due to the controversy regarding the legislative maps. That trickles down to the county level for elections for county clerk, sheriff, supervisor of assessments and all 10 county board members.
A special legislative session in Springfield last week, moved the boundaries of several districts, but made few changes.
“Some districts only moved a block,” C.D.Davidsmeyer, representative of Illinois’s 100th district which includes Pike County, said. “Nothing really changed.”
Davidsmeyer has served Pike and the surrounding area since 2012. With the new maps, he will be in a more northern district which includes Cass and not Pike County. Pike County would pick up Rep. Amy Eilk, a freshman representative from the Alton area. Jil Tracy will replace Pike’s current state senator, Steve McClure.
Davidsmeyer said the two lawsuits pending over the maps have not been withdrawn and he expects those to continue.
“This changed, like the maps, were pushed through without listening to the concerns groups and concerned citizens,” Davidsmeyer said.
McClure said the situation is embarrassing and the House members did not even have the data in their hands when the vote was taken last week.
“We wanted to wait and have time to review the data,” McClure said. “We were refused. It’s just a power grab and unconstitutional.”
McClure called the actions a question of voter rights.
“For example, the Latino population in Illinois has grown tremendously in the past 10-years,” McClure said. “The districts they have drawn is not reflective of that at all. Federal law says you cannot do that to a growing population.”
McClure says he believes that the lawsuits will not only remain on the docket, but, have a good chance of being successful.
According to Davidsmeyer, the law suits will be put on a speedy path and could see a courtroom by the end of the month, with a resolution in October.
“But that affects the election cycle, so we have moved the primary to June,” Davidsmeyer said.
Much of the controversy stems from the legislature’s decision to move ahead with the redistricting despite the census numbers being delayed by COVID. Instead numbers from the American Community Survey, which several claim is less accurate than the census.
Natalie Roseberry, county clerk, says delaying the primary until June 28 will cause lots of headaches for the election cycle.
“Usually, if a party doesn’t have a candidate for an office, they can slate a a candidate within 60 days of the primary,” Roseberry said. “We will have to order ballots before then. Early voting should start in September. Petitions will be available for the primary, Jan. 13, as of today, but, it changes all the time.”