"But abolition will be a tougher sell in the rural Midwest, where townships are the most direct form of government, as well as serving as a power base and source of patronage for politicians who simultaneously serve as township supervisor and state senator. In Indiana, Gov. Mitch Daniels spent eight years trying to eliminate, or at least consolidate, his state’s 1,008 townships, but faced opposition from rural legislators who argued that what was right for urban counties was wrong for their hometowns. When he left office, in 2013, Indiana had 1,006 townships.”
Illinois is currently home to over 1,000 townships, but many are starting to wonder why this outdated model of governance is still so prolific. Next month, Evanston Township will dissolve, marking the first dissolution in Illinois since 1932. Could this be a sign of things to come?
Credit: Northwestern University Library