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Voting rights group working to change Illinois' political map

Elliott Stallion unsplash.jpg
Elliott Stallion unsplash

Court battles regarding the new political maps are continuing in 11 states, including Illinois. Jay Young is Executive Director of Common Cause Illinois. He says the new state map signed into law this summer only benefits some.

"I think it's pretty clear, what we saw get passed, at the end of August: incumbency protection, was really what was driving, at least the drafting of the state plans."

Young has been following the progress of two current lawsuits, and he believes more inclusive maps can be made.

"Alternate districts are possible, again, if you're particularly focused on community of interest protection and not incumbency protection."

Young says new political maps should not continue to be made in the dark, behind closed doors, but should involve all residents.

He stresses community voting groups should be active every year, and not just on years around a national census.

Born in Newport, Rhode Island to a military family, Kevin Boucher traveled the country and the world at a young age before his family settled in Murphysboro, Illinois in 1976. He earned a Bachelor's degree in Radio-Television at Southern Illinois University (SIU) in Carbondale and worked in commercial radio before becoming the Traffic Manager at WSIU Public Television. Boucher has since earned a Master's degree in Professional Media & Media Management Studies from SIU's College of Mass Communication & Media Arts. He is an outdoor enthusiast who enjoys gardening and exploring the flora and fauna of the Shawnee National Forest and other beautiful natural areas across southern Illinois. Kevin is embarking on a new path with WSIU as the Community Engagement Producer for WSIU Radio. Look for Kevin's work on air and on line.