Olsen joins eight-state effort to end gerrymandering
A majority party's grip on a state becomes more absolute and unfair when it is allowed to redraw district boundaries to protect itself, Rep. David S. Olsen (R-Downers Grove) argued recently in joining a coalition taking its gerrymandering case to the U.S. Supreme Court.
“Gerrymandered political maps essentially silence voters and weaken our system of democracy,” Olsen said on his website. “Through gerrymandered maps, majority party politicians are able to draw district boundaries that protect their party majority status. Not only do they draw maps so they can choose who they represent, they also draw districts that pit incumbents from minority parties against each other, thus strengthening majority party power.”
Olsen is now part of a 65-member bipartisan group of former and current legislators from eight states asking the high court to ban political gerrymandering practices.
Olsen cited the Illinois district map as an example of what extreme gerrymandering can do.
“We must end this practice, so voters can choose their representatives and not the other way around,” he said.
Illinois has joined Wisconsin, Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Rhode Island and Maryland in the brief. Twelve Illinois senators and five representatives have signed on so far.
The Supreme Court will hear arguments in the case on Oct. 3.