Moving Forward at DPOE forum

On Sunday, January 28th, Moving Forward attended a forum hosted by the Democratic Party of Evanston (DPOE) on Partisan Redistricting and the 2018 Election. Topics included the pan-partisan efforts to preserve power through gerrymandering; the pros and cons of independent commissions; the lawsuits and Supreme Court cases around partisan and racial gerrymandering; the unique shape of certain districts like IL-04; and the conflicts that important laws like the Voting Rights Act impart upon the map-drawing process.

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Gerrymandering case goes to the Supreme Court

On Tuesday, October 3rd, Gill v. Whitford will be argued at the Supreme Court. Gill is the leading case against gerrymandering, arguing that the Wisconsin state legislature unfairly drew districts following the 2011 census. Justice Anthony Kennedy has indicated in a past decision that he is open to a standard that defines how unfair, or inefficient, certain district lines are drawn. This is a core element of the Gill argument, that there is now a model to measure this inefficiency that can be applied to Wisconsin and other state maps.

Read more from Slate and NPR and follow the case with the NY Times. Finally, FiveThirtyEight is running a special podcast series this fall about gerrymandering. You can download the first episode on their site and subscribe to hear the rest of the episodes starting in November.

Automatic Voter Registration Passes; Rauner to Sign

Great news, everyone! The Illinois Automatic Voter Registration bill unanimously passed both the Senate and the House and today, Governor Rauner indicated he would sign it this time around. Here's the full Huffington Post story: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/illinois-automatic-voter-registration_us_592dd842e4b0c0608e8c320f

Thanks to everyone who called to support this legislation. AVR is a positive step towards increasing voter turnout and ensuring everyone has the ability to have their voice heard in Illinois elections.

John Oliver does his thing on Gerrymandering - UPDATED with Vox.com video

In case you missed Last Week Tonight on Sunday, April 9th, John Oliver had an extended segment about Gerrymandering. In addition to highlighting the origins of the practice and the name, he highlighted the ways gerrymandering is an issue across the political spectrum, but especially insidious amongst Republican legislatures since the 2010 census.

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Q&A on Redistricting, Voting Rights

Here is a really good interview regarding the roots and impacts of redistricting and what is possible to do about it:

https://heleo.com/conversation-this-is-the-way-democracy-ends-not-with-a-bang-but-with-redistricting/13434/amp/

A key need is more support local races for state houses and governors in key states in our region like Ohio, Michigan, and Wisconsin. Organizations like Flippable are helping identify and direct funds to critical districts ahead of the key 2018 and 2020 elections.

Automatic Voter Registration

A new bill was recently introduced in the Illinois legislature. The Automatic Voter Registration act looks to expand access to voting for residents in Illinois. Voting is a fundamental right. In Illinois, less than 2/3 of eligible voters are registered. Only 41% of 18-24 year olds in Illinois are registered to vote. The AVR uses information from various government agencies to register people to vote or update their status. Eligible voters have the opportunity to opt-out.

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