In 2015, the Indiana General Assembly passed House Enrolled Act 1003. This legislation called for an independent study committee on redistricting reform.
The LWVIN has partnered with Common Cause Indiana to create a state wide coalition calling for real redistricting reform in Indiana. Coalition partners include: Hoosier Environmental Council, Citizens Action Coalition, ACLU, NAACP, Indiana Farmers Union, Jobs for Justice and Moral Mondays. The Special Interim Study Committee on Redistricting was appointed.
Thanks to the leadership of Rep. Jerry Torr, a recommendation passed by a vote of 8-3 calling for the establishment of an Independent Redistricting Commission. Rep. Torr’s leadership and commitment to the study committee process is deeply appreciated. For a summary of the redistricting process, click here. For a PDF copy of the Interim Study Committee on Redistricting’s Final Report, click here.
A major milestone for redistricting reform was secured on January 22, with the passage of SB 326 through the Senate Elections Committee on a vote of 8 to 0.
SB 326 establishes first-ever “standards” to shape the redrawing of legislative maps. It does not, however, establish an independent redistricting commission, a long sought goal of the Indiana Coalition for Independent Redistricting.
Thanks to all our partners in this Coalition (Hoosier Environmental Council, Common Cause Indiana, Women4Change Indiana, Indianapolis NAACP Branch #3053, and everyone else involved in All IN for Democracy who made this happen.) We’ll keep on pushing for Independent Redistricting Reform–but SB 326 is certainly a step in the right direction!
Indiana Coalition for Independent Redistricting Makes Its Recommendations
On September 19, the Indiana Coalition for Independent Redistricting, of which the LWVIN is a co-founding member, presented its recommendations to the Special Interim Study Committee on Redistricting.
Key recommendations include:
Indiana should establish a citizen-led redistricting commission every 10 years consisting of 9 members: 3 Republican, 3 Democrat, and 3 unaffiliated.
All Hoosiers are eligible, but must apply for service.
Qualified candidates should be selected by lottery with efforts made to reflect the racial, ethnic, gender and geographic diversity of the state.
Redistricting criteria: Districts must be substantially equal in population, contiguous,comply with the U.S. Voting Rights Act, when possible they should not divide communities of interest, and the home addresses of incumbent elected officials should not be considered.
Recommendations by the commission should require an affirmative vote of at least 6 members and are subject to legislative approval.
Legislative changes, however, can not exceed 2% of the total population of a district and must be accompanied by a narrative explanation.