Judge blocks Illinois redistricting plan from ballot

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Judge holding gavel in courtroom

CHICAGO — A judge has ruled that a voter referendum seeking to change the way Illinois draws its political boundaries is unconstitutional for the November ballot.

It’s the second time that such an attempt has been blocked in the courts. In both instances, a lawsuit brought by an attorney linked to top Democrats argued that it didn’t meet constitutional muster.

A group called Independent Maps had made revisions since the 2014 effort. Its plan called for an 11-member commission to draw legislative boundaries, instead of leaving it to the party in power. The State Board of Elections has said it appears the initiative had enough valid signatures.

An Independent Maps spokesman says it’ll appeal.

Plan opponents say it didn’t meet constitutional requirements, namely that changes to the Legislature be “structural and procedural.”

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