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'Fair Map' Deadline Extended by Organizers

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The Illinois League of Women Voters has extended its deadline for volunteers to turn in petitions for a constitutional amendment. The group needs to collect hundreds of thousands of signatures to get its redistricting proposal on the ballot.

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Right now, lawmakers have first crack at drawing boundaries for legislative districts. But a proposal from the League and other groups gives that job to a redistricting commission appointed by legislative leaders.

To get what they’re calling the “Fair Map Amendment” on the ballot, the League is trying to collect a half-million signatures, and deliver them to election officials by early May. The League wanted volunteers to turn in petitions by April first, but have pushed the deadline to the 16th.

Coordinator Mary Schaafsma denies the extension means signature collection isn’t going fast enough. She says the response has been overwhelming, but won’t say how many signatures her office has so far.

Schaafsma and other Fair Map supporters acknowledge they might come up short in the end. But they’re hoping at the very least the petition drive pressures Democratic leaders to pass a similar plan through the legislature.

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