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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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Sen. Amy Klobuchar, one of the lead sponsors of the Freedom to Vote Act, takes notes during a field hearing on voting rights in Atlanta.

Democrats revive election reform with compromise bill, but filibuster still looms

After the For the People Act was blocked by a Republican filibuster in June, Senate Democrats began forging a new path forward for their voting and election reform priorities.

Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Joe Manchin of West Virginia, along with six other co-sponsors, unveiled Tuesday their compromise legislation, dubbed the Freedom to Vote Act. This pared-down bill includes many provisions from the For the People Act, while also incorporating earlier proposals from Manchin, who was the sole Democrat opposed to S. 1, as the original bill is also known.

With Manchin on board, this new election reform package will likely garner support from all 50 Democrats. However, without at least 10 Republican votes or a change in Senate rules, the legislation will face the same fate as the For the People Act.

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Advocates for nonpartisan redistricting are calling on Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker to reject the latest district maps approved by the Legislature.

Illinois Democrats slammed for rushing a partisan redistricting plan

Griffiths is the national editor of Independent Voter News, where a version of this story first appeared.

The Democrats who run the Illinois Legislature didn't waste any time ramming new state House and Senate maps through the legislative process this week, despite criticism and pleas from community organizations for a more thorough and transparent process.

State lawmakers revealed new maps Monday to replace a series of maps that had already been passed prior to the release of updated census data. However, it was determined the new maps violated the "one person, one vote" principle, forcing a third set of maps to be offered the next day,. That final set of maps was approved hours later.

Democratic leaders argued that the maps accurately reflect the census data that was released in August. Republicans and other critics, however, called the maps a "sham" and accused the Democratic majority of putting partisanship ahead of better representation.

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Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (left) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell are continuing to maneuver on opposites sides of the For the People Act.

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The For the People Act is not dead  yet

Effingham is director of federal reform for RepresentUs, a right-left anti-corruption group.
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Max Carver Interview: How to Stop Gerrymandering 2021 | RepresentUs

Video: How to Stop Gerrymandering 2021

After the official release of the 2020 census data, Max Carver for RepresentUs explains why it's critical that we understand how partisan gerrymandering disempowers voters — and more importantly, how we can end it before it's too late.

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