Gerrymandering has reached extreme levels in some districts, DeKalb County official says
DeKalb County Board member Tim Bagby says the issues of district map-drawing and gerrymandering have become so extreme across his Sycamore district that voters hardly know where they stand anymore.
“In the district I’m from, I’ve got two different congresspeople,” Bagby told the DeKalb Times. “They actually went in between houses, not just down the street, the last time they were drawing the maps. When I’m talking to my neighbors about who to vote for, I sometimes have to look at the map because so and so might not be on their ballot.”
Bagby argues that things do not have to be anywhere near as complicated as they've become.
“At the county level, and I’m on the county board, we actually have a process where we have three staff members who put together maps and submit those to the board for its approval,” he said. “So, there’s no Democrat or Republican, it’s put together by people who have some understanding of demographics and the communities involved, and it’s on those bases that they draw those lines.”
Bagby said it is easy to see why Illinois has the problems its does with the issues of map-districting and gerrymandering muddling things at the outset of every election.
“We have a situation in Illinois right now where we have one-party control, longtime partisan control of that redistricting process,” Bagby said. “Right now, it’s in the hands of the Speaker of the House, Mr. [Michael] Madigan. There have been a number of attempts over the years to try to open that process up and bring the public in more to make it a more nonpartisan process, but all those efforts have been turned away.”