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(Chicago Tribune) — If you thought that Illinois congressional and legislative redistricting was a mystery, take a closer look at what Gov. Pat Quinn and mostly Democratic lawmakers have conjured up.  The recently signed and deceptively named Illinois Voting Rights Act of 2011 requires that redrawn legislative districts conform to the most arcane and divisive rules yet seen for bestowing special treatment on “racial and language minorities.” The new law directs that new legislative districts, reflecting the 2010 census, “shall be drawn” to “create crossover districts, coalition districts, or influence districts” to the benefit of racial and language minorities.  What the heck are those, you ask? Bear with me; I’ve got to quote directly from the law itself so you can fully appreciate the absurdity of it:

Crossover district: One in which a racial or language minority “constitutes less than a majority of the voting-age population but where this minority, at least potentially, is large enough to elect the candidate of its choice with help from voters who are members of the majority and who cross over to support the minority’s preferred candidate.”

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