Effects of Pat Quinn's state House cut and cumulative voting quash

In an audio interview, Dave Glowacz talked with Kevin Lamm, an Illinois government and election veteran, about a change to the Illinois constitution that fundamentally altered the way Illinoisans vote for state representatives.

Quinn Cutback supporters
Future Ill. Governor Pat Quinn and supporters of the Cutback
Amendment, circa 1980. Source: governorquinnportrait.org/

In the standard version of the episode, Lamm explained the big switch that happened in 1980: from cumulative voting in multi-member House districts, to one-person voting in single-member districts. Lamm also described how, before the switch, voters often elected party-independent candidates to the state House of Representatives.

In the premium version of the episode, Lamm spoke of how a citizen referendum championed by Illinois politician Pat Quinn birthed the "Cutback Amendment" to the state constitution—reducing the state's House of Representatives by a third. And he described the motives for such a move.

In the premium version, Lamm described why some say the single-member districts created by the Cutback Amendment led to a more polarized House of Representatives.

Also in the premium version, Dave played part of an audio interview with Pat Quinn's brother Tom, who argued in favor of the Cutback Amendment—to which Lamm responded.

"It's a lazy, cowardly way to go about thinking about government," Lamm said.

Finally, the premium version contains a discussion of ranked choice voting as, perhaps, a modern-day successor to cumulative voting.

Length 7 minutes standard, 30 minutes premium.

Music: "Rock n' Roll" by HoliznaCC0

Standard audio:

Premium audio:

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