DuPage County

DuPage County Board set to vote on new district map today

DuPage County Board members are expected to vote today to approve a new map of their six electoral districts for the next decade.

A special county board committee tasked with redrawing district boundaries put forward a proposed map that aims to keep communities largely intact without significantly deviating from existing lines.

The full board also will vote to preserve the county’s representation system. Voters currently elect three board members from each of the six districts.

Committee members from both parties have been mostly pleased with the redistricting proposal, though at least two Democrats have sought alternatives.

Board members have until Nov. 17 to approve a final map, or else DuPage County Clerk Jean Kaczmarek can convene an apportionment commission to configure districts.

“Our process was very open and transparent,” said board member Donald Puchalski, a Republican who sits on the redistricting committee. “And I thought we worked very well together. We were complemented by our experts on how well we did.”

Attorneys and mapmakers hired by the county say the draft map meets legal requirements. Each of the six districts must contain about the same number of people based on new U.S. census data.

DuPage gained roughly 15,000 residents over the last decade, bringing the total population to 932,877. That means each district should be home to about 155,479 people.

The map released by the committee shows no more than a 1% difference in population between districts, meeting a goal set by the redistricting committee.

The committee also made an effort to replace meandering lines drawn a decade ago with ones that follow major roads and township boundaries, officials said.

In Lombard, for instance, Main Street would divide District 4 and District 2, straightening out a zigzag.

Among other notable changes, a piece of Carol Stream would shift from District 4 to District 6, putting the entire village within the latter.

District 1 also would encompass all of Roselle instead of keeping a section of the village in District 6.

“We didn’t add districts. We didn’t go to single-member districts,” Jim Zay, the chairman of the redistricting committee, said last week. “We weren’t re-creating the wheel.”

Amy Chavez and fellow board member Sheila Rutledge wanted mapmakers to go back to the drawing board. But they were overruled by the rest of the redistricting committee.

Board members today can still request amendments from the floor.