Southern Illinois Republican Legislators Oppose Partisan Election Reform Bill

SPRINGFIELD – Late in the evening on Memorial Day Monday, the Illinois House took up a surprise and controversial measure that greatly expands and reforms the Illinois elections code. Southern Illinois State Representatives Dave Severin (R-Benton), Patrick Windhorst (R-Metropolis), and Paul Jacobs (R-Pomona) voted against SB 825 as amended citing several concerns. 

“What we’re seeing is an unprecedented power grab from the remap process to the election code,” Rep. Severin said. “I’m 100% for providing access to the ballot, but I have serious concerns with the proposal that passed today. It seems like Democratic politicians in Illinois are willing to go to any length to protect their political power.”

State Rep. Patrick Windhorst expressed concern over requirements in the legislation that continue policies beyond what was changed during the coronavirus pandemic during a special legislative Session in Springfield last May 2020.

“This legislation also delays the primary, for the primary reason that the Congressional redistricting map has not been drawn because the legislature is waiting on US Census data,” Windhorst said. “That position is in opposition to the way the majority crafted policy in the redistricting process. What we’re seeing are Democratic politicians on one hand saying American Community Survey data is good enough for legislative districts to meet a false deadline, but we have to wait for the Census data to draw Congressional maps. That is an admission that Democrats used flawed data to craft the legislative maps that passed last week.”

State Rep. Paul Jacobs says in his short time in Springfield, he’s been disappointed to learn of the heavy handed political tactics used by the Democratic party that run the State.

“Once again, a massive bill that completely changes the way we vote in the State of Illinois is dropped and passed on the final day of Session, on Memorial Day, when no one is paying attention,” Jacobs said. “Well I am paying attention, and the people of my district should know that Democrats in Illinois are working to make it possible to vote by mail, email, and jail. This is a bridge too far and I could not support it.”