NPR Story
4:57 am
Fri May 2, 2014

Remap Campaign Celebrates, Even As It's Under Attack

Originally published on Mon May 5, 2014 5:04 pm

  State elections authorities are beginning to go through 37,535 sheets of paper, filled with voters' signatures. An organization trying to change how Illinois draws legislative districts dropped off the monster petition Thursday in Springfield.

The petition made its way from Chicago to Springfield in a custom-made metal box, strapped down in a semi; it took more than a dozen workers and volunteers to carefully unload it.

Illinois election law requires citizen-driven proposals to change the state constitution to be filed as one document, and the director of the campaign, Michael Kolenc didn't want to take any chances.

Especially considering he's already got one. Earlier this week, a lawsuit challenging the plan's constitutionality was filed by an attorney who's a close ally of House Speaker Michael Madigan. Though Madigan's name isn't on the suit, Kolenc says his fingerprints are all over it.

"It is no surprise to us, or anyone here, that the status quo has felt so threatened by this initiative, has felt so, so worried that their power is going to be taken, that they actually had to sue us before we even put a single petition in this truck," Kolenc says.

The lawsuit also challenges Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner's effort to get voters to weigh in on term limits on the November ballot.

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