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Legislative leader says lack of races, low voter turnout caused by gerrymandering

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(The Center Square) – Illinois Primary Day 2024 did not feature many races and the voter turnout was low, and now a Republican legislative leader says you can blame the Democrats’ gerrymandered maps.

The voter turnout is being described as shockingly low and is expected to be below 20%.

Senate Minority Leader John Curran, R-Downers Grove, said if Gov. J.B. Pritzker would have kept his word regarding the drawing of legislative maps, Illinois voters would be more engaged.

“Governor Pritzker ran on a promise … that he would veto any maps drawn by politicians, and then he did an about face and he signed one of the most gerrymandered maps in the nation,” said Curran.

Curran said Illinois voters should play a part in drawing up the maps, not politicians.

“Give the citizens of this state an opportunity to actually enact their maps and actually get more competitive elections back to the state of Illinois,” said Curran.

Some of the primary contest results for the Illinois Statehouse included state Sen. Terri Bryant, R-Murphysboro, holding off a challenge from Wesley Kash, and incumbent state Rep. Blaine Wilhour, R-Beecher City, easily defeating Matthew Hall.

State Rep. Dave Severin, R-Benton, was an easy winner over Angela Evans, and longtime state Rep. Mary Flowers, D-Chicago, was defeated by newcomer Michael Crawford, who was endorsed by House Speaker Chris “Emanuel” Welch, D-Hillside.

Incumbent state Sen. Natalie Toro, D-Chicago, was ousted by Graciela Guzman, and incumbent state Sen. Patrick Joyce, D-Essex, held off a challenge from Kimberly Earling.

Democratic incumbent state Reps. Justin Slaughter, D-Chicago, and Thaddeus Jones, D-Calumet City, both defeated primary challengers.

Election Day is Tuesday, November 5.

Greg Bishop contributed to this report.

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