Our View: A fair map or forget it for better state government (Editorial)
Democrats and Republicans alike have set their sights this year on fixing the most odious example of reform gone wrong in Illinois - the way legislative districts are drawn.
Forty years ago, when the Illinois Constitution was being revised, delegates wanted to end the partisan wrangling associated with the drawing of new legislative districts after the decennial census. Their plan was to force Republicans and Democrats to work together under the threat that if they couldn't agree on boundaries that suited both parties, a random drawing would award total control to one side. Clearly it would never come to that, as no one in their right mind would take that risk.
Well, welcome to the parallel universe known as Illinois. Over the last three decades, the parties have deadlocked and taken their chances on a scrap of paper drawn from a Lincoln-style stovepipe hat. First Democrats, then Republicans, then Democrats again have won the right to cherry-pick their voters and draw boundaries favorable to their officeholders. It has given incumbents a nearly 98 percent re-election rate. Districts have been so gerrymandered that nearly half of all races are uncontested. In short, it is a mockery of democracy.