Keep in mind that this isn't out-of-the-ordinary behavior. Since 2020, voters have passed referendums supporting separation from Chicago in 23 counties, mostly in southeastern Illinois. Those counties are: Bond, Christian, Clark, Clay, Crawford, Cumberland, Edwards, Effingham, Fayette, Jasper, Hancock, Jefferson, Johnson, Lawrence, Marion, Massac, Moultrie, Pope, Richland, Shelby, Wabash, Wayne and Whiteside.

Spoiler alert: It's not Winnebago, Boone, and/or Ogle counties that are looking to leave the state of Illinois, although at one time Winnebago County, Jo Daviess County, Stephenson County, and Boone County all tried to remove themselves from the master list of Illinois counties.

Second spoiler alert: That effort (around 1840) by Winnebago, Boone, Stephenson, and Jo Daviess to dump Illinois failed, but what will happen with the latest Illinois counties currently exploring secession (or creation of a new state from our state) remains to be seen.

bye bye message in light box
Getty Images
Large and detailed map of Madison county in Illinois, USA.
Getty Images

It's Possible That A Referendum Might Show Up On The November Ballot That Asks Madison County Voters If They'd Like To Separate From Chicago And Start A "New Illinois"

The referendum, regarding the potential separation of downstate Illinois from Cook County and Chicago was approved by the Madison County Board’s Government Relations Committee by a vote of 6-1.

Next comes consideration of the referendum by the full Madison County Board, which, according to, "would ask residents if the county “should correspond with the boards of other counties about the possibility of separating from Cook County to form a new state and to seek admission to the Union” and would appear on the Nov. 5 ballot.

Sign showing a person running towards the exit
Which way to Missouri? (Getty Images)

There Are Still A Bunch Of Hoops To Jump Through In Order To Make Something Like This Actually Happen

The idea, or proposal for separating Madison County from the rest of the state of Illinois could also find its way to the ballot if supporters get 8,000 signatures of voters who feel the same way.

Then, assuming all of that happens, the next steps would be:

    • Approval by the Illinois General Assembly
    • Signed by the governor
    • Approval by both the House and the Senate in Washington
    • Signed by the President of the United States

The Definitive List of The Oddest, Strangest and Downright Filthy Town Names In Every State

We combed through list after list of the oddest, strangest and somewhat naughty-sounding town names in every state. From Smut Eye to Ding Dong, you can learn unbelievable facts about each of these towns below.

Gallery Credit: Rob Carroll

Offbeat adventures: Travel to the coolest hidden wonders in every U.S. state

Fuel your offbeat travel dreams. Stacker found the coolest hidden wonders in all 50 U.S. states (plus D.C.) using data from Atlas Obscura.

[WARNING: Under no circumstances should you enter private or abandoned property. By doing so you risk bodily harm and/or prosecution for trespassing.]

Gallery Credit: Sandi Hemmerlein

More From WROK 1440 AM / 96.1 FM