SPRINGFIELD, IL — Before signing new legislative maps for Illinois, Gov. J.B. Pritzker said they might need adjusting once more comprehensive Census data is released.
Pritzker signed the maps Friday afternoon without any fanfare. He said in a news release the maps “ensure that communities that have been left out and left behind have fair representation in our government.”
The maps were based on inaccurate data from the American Community Survey.
Earlier last week, Pritzker acknowledged they’re still waiting on the full Census data due sometime this summer.
“I think there will be Census data that comes out and there may need to be some adjustments made as a result of that Census data,” Pritzker said June 1 when asked by The Center Square.
State Rep. Tim Butler, R-Springfield, Monday said that’s an admission the maps are based on faulty data.
“And if they come back and adjust the maps, it just shows that they weren’t truthful right now in wanting to draw the maps to the best of their ability, they just wanted to draw them to pick up more seats, that’s what it was,” Butler told WMAY.
Republicans said the process was partisan and based on inaccurate American Community Survey data, not comprehensive Census data.
Senate Minority Leader Dan McConchie, R-Hawthorn Woods, criticized the partisan-drawn legislative maps Friday. He also accused Democrats of playing politics with Illinois Supreme Court boundaries Pritzker signed Friday.
“It’s one thing to have a political fight in regards to political maps, it’s another thing to drag the judiciary into that fight, it’s very disturbing and just goes to show the willingness to pursue power at all costs that the majority [Democratic] party has at this point,” McConchie said.
McConchie said Republicans are reviewing their options, including possible lawsuits.
But the map-making isn’t done. Lawmakers must rearrange Congressional maps to reflect that Illinois lost one seat in the U.S. House of Representatives due to population declines.
“Why is it that they are going ahead and waiting for the full Census data to draw congressional districts, but they wouldn’t do that for the state House and Senate districts or these other maps,” said CHANGE Illinois Executive Director Madeleine Doubek.
One reason Doubek postulated is the possible threat of a federal lawsuit.
“We believe the answer is because there is a much smaller margin of error that is allowed when you draw Congressional districts as far as making sure they have equal population,” Doubek said.
Doubek said that drawing the maps using American Community Survey data instead of full Census data erases nearly 42,000 Illinois.
“That is not fair by any definition,” she said.
Complete Census data is not expected until after Sept. 30.