Politics

Political news

Northern Illinois University

Some important events happened this week.

The Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq hit record highs. And President-elect Donald Trump continued to announce his cabinet picks.

But a federal court ruling could have even more far-reaching effects.

A three-judge panel ruled Wisconsin's 2011 redistricting law unconstitutional -- a move that could affect the redistricting process in every state where lawmakers draw political maps.

In a 2-1 ruling, the panel said Wisconsin's districts, drawn by Republicans, unfairly affected Democratic voters.

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It's already time to start thinking about the next election. There are a few deadlines coming up for the Illinois consolidated primary on Feb. 28.

Candidates who wish to partake in the coming election have until Monday to file. Those who want a public question to appear on the ballot also have until then to file a petition. The last day for a community to adopt a resolution or an ordinance for the public question is Dec. 12.

Illinois State Board of Elections spokesman Jim Tenuto offered this piece of advice to voters:

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Fewer than 20 percent of the provisional ballots cast in the election two weeks ago by voters who didn't have the required photo ID were counted.

The preliminary tally comes Tuesday from the Wisconsin Elections Commission.

The commission says there were at least 750 provisional ballots cast in the Nov. 8 election and of those 618 were issued because the voter didn't have an acceptable photo ID.

Only 116 out of the 618 provisional ballots were counted. Most of them, 399, were marked as "deadline expired," which indicates they weren't counted.

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A federal court says voting districts drawn by Wisconsin Republicans are unconstitutional.

The ruling issued Monday is a major victory for Democrats who have been in the minority for six years and lost ground in this year's election.

A three-judge panel tossed maps drawn by Republican lawmakers five years ago, saying they violate the voting rights of Democrats.

The maps divide Wisconsin into 99 Assembly and 33 Senate districts. A dozen voters sued last year, arguing that the boundaries discriminated against Democrats by diluting their voting power.

http://www.ci.freeport.il.us/

Freeport Mayor Jim Gitz says it’s time to make way for new leaders. He announced Thursday he will NOT run for re-election. 

Gitz was elected in 2013: he also served two terms as mayor, from 1997 - 2005. Gitz says he’s ready for a career change and had made up his mind before Tuesday’s election. That’s when Freeport voters decided to change to a city manager style government, making their mayor a part-time position.  

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