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CHANGE Illinois

CHANGE Illinois is a nonpartisan, nonprofit leading systemic government and election reforms. CHANGE (the Coalition for Honest and New Government Ethics) champions ethical and efficient government and democracy and includes a diverse group of civic, philanthropic, business, labor, professional, and nonprofit organizations representing millions of Illinoisans. CHANGE Illinois works in collaboration with like-minded reform organizations, playing a leadership role in convening and facilitating efforts around shared policy agendas. The coalition works to improve challenges that undermine our democracy, including gerrymandering, restricted ballot access, voter suppression, uncompetitive elections, corruption, lack of government transparency and unethical lobbying, all of which have led to disillusionment and a decrease in civic participation.

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States grapple with compressed redistricting timelines

A lawsuit filed this week over Illinois' new legislative district lines is a preview of what's sure to be a litigious and tense second half of the year for mapmakers.

While Illinois has made more progress than most states, the redistricting process in the Prairie State is far from over. Full census data has not yet been released due to delays caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. As a result, many states are facing impossible redistricting deadlines — some of them constitutionally mandated. If adjustments aren't made soon, courts will have to step in and draw temporary maps for upcoming elections.

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More voting restrictions have been signed into law this year than ever before

States have enacted a greater number of restrictive voting laws in 2021 than in any previous year — and they've done so at a rapid pace.

As of mid-May, 14 states had signed into law 22 provisions restricting access to the ballot box, according to the Brennan Center for Justice, which has been tracking state voting legislation. This year's total shatters the previous record-high from 2011, when 14 states enacted 19 restrictive voting bills by October of that year.

The heightened activity around voting legislation is a direct result of the 2020 election, in which states were forced to make last-minute and temporary changes to accommodate voters during the Covid-19 pandemic. Since then, Republicans have been largely pushing limitations to voting access, while Democrats are advocating for expansions.

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We need politicians who are not puppets

Frazier, a student at the University of California, Berkeley School of Law, runs The Oregon Way, a nonpartisan blog.
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With the For the People Act going nowhere in the Senate, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer should work on passing one of its most important components, writes Johnson.

With election reform stalled, Senate should prioritize anti-gerrymandering

Johnson is executive director of Election Reformers Network, a nonprofit founded by international election specialists to promote electoral improvements in the United States.

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