State Sen. Dave Luechtefeld knows the pain of being in the political minority.
Democrats gerrymandered the boundaries of the 58th Senate District so that his home is no longer in it. If Luechtefeld wants to run for re-election, he either has to leave his beautiful home in Okawville or run against fellow Republican Kyle McCarter in his new district. Neither of those options is very appealing.
Democrats aren’t unique in resorting to this sort of self-serving map making. Unfortunately in Illinois, the redistricting process is not about what makes sense for the people but rather the politicians. If Republicans held control, they’d do similar things to Democrats.
This is one of the reasons Illinois needs a nonpartisan method of drawing political boundaries. The group Yes for Independent Maps tried to get a state constitutional amendment on the ballot last year, without success. It didn’t have the 300,000 valid signatures required to get it on the ballot, and a judge ruled the proposal went beyond the procedural changes the state Constitution allows.
Let’s hope another petition drive is mounted and this time succeeds. Lawmakers could save the public the trouble and put the question on the ballot themselves, but good luck getting the Democrats to give up all that power.