SPRINGFIELD - Undaunted by a pre-emptive lawsuit filed by a Democratic Party attorney in Cook County, "Yes for Independent Maps'" executive director Michael Kolenc pushed back Thursday morning citing some facts about their effort:
- 532,264 signatures collected
- 1/3 of valid signatures came from volunteers
- 37,535 petition sheets included in the 27 foot long, 1250 lb “Green Machine”
- 3,578 unique individuals requested petitions from their website
- Volunteers represent 437 Illinois cities and towns
- Staff made over 15,000 volunteer calls to volunteers
- Volunteers were organized into 28 regional teams
- Number of weekends staff have had off since January: 0
Kolenc told Illinois Review that their campaign expected a challenge in the courts, but that he was confident the amendment wording stood up to constitutional requirements.
After the lawsuit was filed Wednesday, Kolenc commented on the role played by Illinois House Speaker and Democratic Party Chairman Mike Madigan.
“Madigan’s blatantly political attempt to question the constitutionality of Independent Maps is nothing more than a distraction from the back-room dealing that happens with redistricting,” Kolenc told reporters.
“This is the very type of amendment that the drafters of the Illinois constitution expected should bypass the legislature because the incumbent members of the Illinois General Assembly have no incentive to fix the system that keeps them in office for decades,” he said.
Over 70% of Illinois voters support an independent redistricting commission, with 38% strongly favoring. This holds for men and women, Chicagoans and downstaters, Republicans, Democrats and Independents.