Completion of candidate filings for county board seats prove the partisan nature of the new board map.
A substantial majority of Champaign County Board members, both Democrats and Republicans, made noises earlier this year about drawing a new nonpartisan board map that would ensure competitive elections and provide broader choices for voters.
But as decision time drew near, the same old sickening partisan instincts came to the fore, and nonpartisan maps proposed by a citizens commission appointed by the board were shelved.
At the last minute, a map that was described as drafted by the Champaign County NAACP was submitted and approved with little to no discussion.
If some voters smelled a rat about the political nature of the map then, their worst fears were confirmed by the completion of candidate filings on Monday. The new map apparently will guarantee a permanent Democratic majority rather than offer true competition in which neither party is guaranteed anything.
Not one of the 11 new districts for the county board features two Republican and two Democratic candidates for the two seats to be filled.
Three of the districts (2, 3 and 4) offer voters only Republican candidates. Five of the districts (6, 7, 9, 10 and 11) offer voters only Democratic candidates.
In just three of the districts (1, 5 and 8) is there a candidate from both parties. But in each of those districts, there are two candidates of one party and only one of the other.
In other words, it's little to no better than the current gerrymandered map that was drawn to ensure a Democratic Party majority on the current 27-member board.
The party in control is not the issue here; it's the lack of electoral competition for seats on the board that results in no choice for voters on Election Day.
Under the current board, the district maps were configured in a way that makes it virtually impossible for Republicans to win in five of the nine districts or for Democrats to win in four of the nine districts.
Partisans who care only who is in the majority may find that acceptable. But those who believe that both parties will do a better job if there's competition to win office realize what a sham the upcoming board election will be.
Of course, that's the way the small-time politicians on the board wanted it. They had the majority and, through the use of subterfuge, they got their way. But in achieving this minor political gain, they have put their personal political interests ahead of the public they purport to serve.