JERSEYVILLE, Ill. (WTVO) — Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul shot down the idea, raised by officials of Jersey County, that it could consider seceding from the state and becoming part of Missouri.

According to the St. Louis Dispatch, State’s Attorney Benjamin Goetten sent a letter to Raoul asking for guidance on the matter after a county board member proposed putting a question to voters in the next election.

County board member Eric Ivers raised the idea of secession in 2021, patterned after the “New Illinois” effort by 27 counties that seeks to split the state from Chicago.

“It is my opinion that non-home-rule counties, such as Jersey County, do not have the authority to secede from the state of Illinois and join another state,” Raoul replied. “Accordingly, any referendum on the issue of county secession would have no binding legal effect.”

According to a 2020 poll by the Simon Institute, about half of Illinois Republicans support dividing Illinois into two states, motivated by the idea that Chicago’s dense population drives the state’s politics and is out of step with the concerns of rural voters.