Will County Board member demands end to monopolized political mapping
Will County Board Member Stephen Balich wants to take Illinois redistricting out of the hands of biased politicians.
“They twist and wind in all directions but keep the numbers so the Democrats in Illinois are able to retain Democratic control,” Balich told the Will County Gazette. “State seats are saved the same way.”
The retired 30-year teamster who calls himself a conservative Republican is running again for a four-year term, saying he is concerned about the monopolized political mapping in Illinois.
Responding to the recent news that 15 Illinois Republicans and two Democrats are now part of nationwide group of 65 lawmakers trying to end gerrymandering via a Wisconsin case before the U.S. Supreme Court, Balich said a national effort is great but there are others ways to stop unjust mapmaking even quicker.
“We should have an impartial computer draw the maps based on geographic areas,” Balich said. “Start at the center of a current district and make a solid block that includes like areas as far as economics and way of living.”
Balich, who was a Will County Sheriff’s Department employee, said gerrymandering contributes to cultural differences that affect voting.
“People living in the Chicago Loop are different from those in Orland Park in how they see the world,” Balich said. “Presently, an official could live in the far eastern part of Cook and represent those on the far western edge. That’s wrong.
"It seems to me one-party rule has caused absolute power to be absolute. It allows government to become a predator on the citizens, who feel they have no say and can do nothing to fight.”
He also said gerrymandering is a cause of out-migration.
“I believe this is one of the reasons people are leaving Illinois,” Balich said.