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State

Political map group says it has 532K signatures

Illinois state Sen. Heather Steans, D-Chicago, speaks with lawmakers on the Senate floor May 17, 2013 at the state Capitol in Springfield. A group that wants to take legislative redistricting powers away from state lawmakers is taking the next step toward letting voters decide on the issue. A voter initiative called ìYes For Independent Mapsî is scheduled to submit the required number of signatures to place its constitutional amendment on the general election ballot on Thursday, May, 1, 2014. Steans says she supports the movement.  (AP file photo)
Illinois state Sen. Heather Steans, D-Chicago, speaks with lawmakers on the Senate floor May 17, 2013 at the state Capitol in Springfield. A group that wants to take legislative redistricting powers away from state lawmakers is taking the next step toward letting voters decide on the issue. A voter initiative called ìYes For Independent Mapsî is scheduled to submit the required number of signatures to place its constitutional amendment on the general election ballot on Thursday, May, 1, 2014. Steans says she supports the movement. (AP file photo)

SPRINGFIELD – The group that wants to take legislative redistricting powers away from Illinois lawmakers said it has almost twice the signatures needed to let voters decide the issue in November.

A non-partisan group called “Yes for Independent Maps submitted 532,000 signatures to the Illinois State Board of Elections in Springfield on Thursday. The measure would create an independent commission to draw a new political map for the legislature every decade.

Supporters said lawmakers use the process to hurt political foes and limit voter choice in elections.

Chicago Democrat and House Speaker Michael Madigan criticized the proposal as a power grab by Republicans.

A lawsuit filed Tuesday by a Democratic party attorney argues the measure goes beyond the constitutional limits of a voter initiative amendment.

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