Sen. Steve Stadelman

Redistricting Hearings Ensure Voices from Across Illinois Have Say in Fair Map

ROCKFORDSen. Steve Stadelman (D-Rockford) is leading efforts to ensure communities across northern Illinois receive fair representation as legislators begin the once-a-decade process of drawing new legislative boundaries.

Stadelman recently helped lead one of more than a dozen regional hearings scheduled to be held by the Senate Redistricting Caucus in the coming weeks as lawmakers seek input from the public in order to craft a fair map that reflects the diversity of Illinois. That includes the state’s racial, religious and geographic diversity, among other factors.

The Senate Democratic Caucus is focused on inclusion, with hearings being held both in-person and virtually, allowing for say from stakeholders in all of Illinois’ 102 counties. For the first time, anyone who wishes to propose a new legislative boundary map will soon be able to draw and submit a map online.

“To create a plan that best reflects the diversity and needs of our state, we must ensure everyone in the community is able to have their voice heard,” Stadelman said. “Through these hearings, we will do just that – which will allow us to have a variety of input to consider when we go to the drawing board.”

Redistricting occurs every ten years following the U.S. Census count, as each state is required to draw new boundaries for legislative districts in response to shifts in population. While each state has a unique process for redistricting, legislative districts must conform to several constitutional and statutory standards, including the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The Voting Rights Act provides the right of citizens to vote shall not be denied on abridged based on race or color and prohibits the drawing of redistricting plans that results in the denial or abridgement of the right to vote based on race, color or membership in a language minority.

Building on that federal law, Illinois Senate Democrats spearheaded the passage and implementation of the Illinois Voting Rights Act in 2011, which also ensures redistricting plans are crafted in a way that preserves clusters of minority voters if they are of size or cohesion to exert collective electoral power.

In Illinois, legislative redistricting maps must also meet four requirements including: districts must be substantially equal in population; districts must be configured in such a way as to provide adequate representation to minorities and other special interests protected by state and federal law; districts must be compact and contiguous; and maps must meet all legal requirements regarding political fairness.

The Senate Redistricting Committee is dedicated to meeting the June 30 deadline for a new redistricting plan to be approved, as it is the best way to ensure the creation of a fair map. Failing to meet that deadline would turn the redistricting process over to a committee of political appointees, resulting in an outcome that puts the wishes of a handful of political insiders ahead of the interests of the citizens of Illinois.

For more information about redistricting hearings or to testify or submit testimony visit or send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


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