Obama re-ignites fight over drawing Illinois' political maps

CHICAGO (AP) — An effort to change the way political maps are drawn is shaping up as one of the biggest battles of 2016 in Illinois.

Democratic President Barack Obama criticized the process during a speech in Springfield last week, saying it too often favors the political party in charge.

His comments brought Republican lawmakers — whose districts were drawn by Democrats — to their feet.

But some Democrats and minority voters say a proposed constitutional amendment would "devastate" minority voices.

A similar effort failed in 2014 after a lawyer for Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan sued on behalf of minority voters, and Cook County judges declared the proposed ballot measure unconstitutional.

A new group is trying again this year and says it has gathered about 500,000 signatures to put a measure on the ballot.

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