Proponents of the “Yes for Independent Maps” initiative campaign in Illinois were dealt a blow last week when election authorities found over half the signatures checked as part of a random sample were invalid.  Officials within the initiative campaign attacked the random sample process, contending there are more than enough valid signatures to put the measure on the ballot in November.

“We believe that the state ran a rushed, uneven, and back-room signature validation process, and that’s the reason for the unacceptable validity rate,” said Campaign Manager Michael Kolenc.

The group that wants to take the politically powerful process of drawing election maps away from Illinois lawmakers is facing more challenges after election authorities found that a majority of petition signatures needed to put the question to voters were invalid.

State Board of Elections executive director Rupert Borgsmiller said less than half of a 5 percent sample of signatures submitted by the “Yes for Independent Maps” campaign were valid — dealing a blow to an effort that already faces a court challenge in Chicago. But campaign officials say they’ve got enough valid signatures to put the constitutional amendment on the ballot in November and argue the state was “sloppy” in verifying signatures.

A coalition that seeks to take control of drawing legislative districts out of the hands of the legislature filed an initiative petition with the Lieutenant Governor’s Office Wednesday that would put the establishment of an independent redistricting commission to a public vote in November 2010. The group is using volunteers to collect the 95,000 signatures it needs to qualify the measure for the 2010 ballot.

Read the story from the Salt Lake Tribune

The Florida Supreme Court cleared the way Thursday for a 2010 ballot amendment designed to end political gamesmanship in drawing district boundaries, in what could be the first step to reshuffling the state’s Republican-dominated political landscape.

The court ruled that two proposed ballot questions, dealing with state legislative and congressional district boundaries, satisfy the requirement that constitutional amendments address only a single subject, a legal standard that tripped up past bids to change Florida’s redistricting system