MARSHALL, Ill. (WTHI) - The state of Illinois could lose one of its Congressional Districts after the 2020 census. The district includes Edgar, Clark, Crawford, and Lawrence Counties. It's all due to the dwindling population in the state.
Clark County Census Chair Warren Lefever says this may diminish the district's representation. The 15th District stretches across 15,000 square miles in southern and central Illinois. He says it's the largest congressional district east of the Mississippi.
He says residents have a lack of job opportunities and they pay higher taxes. This makes it harder to live in Illinois causing people to leave.
As it stands, the 15th district's representation is Republican, but Democrats hold the state majority. The majority party lawmakers can redraw congressional district maps. This is called redistricting.
Lefever feels this could create inaccurate representation for the area and that there are politics at play. "They want to cut the number of Republican congressmen in Illinois," he asserted, "That's the name of the game. It's not rural, it's politics."
It all boils down to this: If the district is redrawn, you'll be voting for different representatives. Some fear those leaders may not accurately represent the district.
"Your voice is going to be diminished," he concluded, "You'll have different congressmen trying to run for parts of the area--the parts of the district that are cut--so you don't know who you are going to get for congressmen and where he is going to come from."
Map drawing will not begin until the final numbers of the 2020 census are released.