Illinois Redistricting Process

Congressional and Legislative

Congressional and legislative maps are enacted by the General Assembly. The Governor can veto the plans.

The General Assembly can override a veto with a three-fifths vote. Democrats currently have veto-proof majorities in both chambers.

Challenges to the maps are litigated in the State Supreme Court.


If the General Assembly fails to pass a legislative plan, responsibility falls to a backup commission. The Illinois Legislative Redistricting Commission is made up of eight members. Four members are appointed by the Speaker and Minority Leader of the Illinois House of Representatives, who each appoint one Representative and one individual who is not a member of the Illinois House of Representatives. Four members are appointed by the President and Minority Leader of the Illinois Senate, each appoint one Senator and one person who is not a member of the Senate. The Secretary of State certifies the new Commission members. The Commission members, by majority vote, select a chairman and vice chairman. No more than 4 may be from the same party.

The Legislative Redistricting Commission is assembled only if the General Assembly of Illinois fails to pass new maps by June 30 of years ending in one. The Commission must be in place by July 10 and submit maps to the Secretary of State by August 10. If maps are not submitted by August 10, a ninth member is added to the Commission. If a ninth member is needed, the Supreme Court of Illinois selects two people of different political parties before September 1. By September 5, the Secretary must publicly select one of the submitted names at random. This person becomes the ninth member. By October 5, the nine-member Commission must send their map plans to the Secretary, who publishes the maps, which become law immediately. Maps are passed by simple majority.

Challenges to the maps are litigated in the State Supreme Court.

Source: Ill. Const. art. IV, § 3(b).

Ballot Measure Process

Kinds of Ballot Measures
Direct initiatives are permitted to amend the state Constitution. Legislatively initiated ballot measures may amend both statutes and the Constitution.

Single-Subject Rule
There is not a single-subject rule.

Initiative Subject Restrictions
Initiatives may only amend constitutional Article IV, relating to structural and procedural subjects concerning the legislative branch.

Signature Requirements
The signature requirement for constitutional amendments is 8% of all votes cast for all candidates for governor in the previous gubernatorial election. 4,547,657 people voted for a candidate for governor in the 2018 General Election in Illinois, so 363,813 signatures are required for constitutional amendments.

Submission Deadlines
Initiative petitions must be submitted six months prior to the election in which the petition is to appear on the ballot (May 8, 2022, delayed to May 9, 2022 due to non-business days).

Circulation Period
The circulation period for initiative petitions is 18 months.

Ballot Title and Summary
The Ballot Title and Summary are written by the proponent, subject to approval by the Attorney General. Expedited reviews for Titles and Summaries are not permitted.

Other Requirements
A fiscal impact statement is not required. Circulators are required to be a citizen of the United States, and at least 18 years of age. One of two events must happen for amendments to be approved: either a majority of those who cast ballots vote for the amendment or three-fifths of ballots cast for or against the amendment vote yes. The General Assembly cannot repeal an amendment unless through a legislatively-initiated ballot measure. Initiatives are permitted on general election ballots, but not on primary, special or odd-year election ballots.

Source: Ill. Const. art. XIV, §3. 5 Ill. Comp. Stat. 20/ (2019); 10 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/ (2019).

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