‘Gerrymandering has become an evil art, almost:’ Redistricting was the topic at Indianapolis Recorder town hall meeting

The following was written by Breanna Cooper of the Indianapolis Recorder through The Indiana Citizen redistricting reporting project, which was organized with assistance from the Hoosier State Press Association. Once a decade, Indiana’s congressional district, state Senate and House of Representatives maps are redrawn by the state legislature. While the new maps are based on data from the census — which is public information — maps are often drawn without much input from the community. This, Recorder columnist Marshawn Wolley said, often leads to Black and brown votes to be “diluted in the legislative process.” The Recorder and The Indiana Citizen Education Foundation…

House Republicans discuss redistricting process, defend new maps in first committee hearing

A day after releasing most of their proposed congressional and legislative district maps, Indiana House Republicans offered their first public explanation of how they've conducted this year's redistricting process and sought to defend it against charges of gerrymandering. Rep. Greg Steuerwald, R-Avon, the House majority caucus leader and author of the redistricting legislation, was the first to testify in a House Elections and Apportionment Committee hearing Wednesday, describing the complexity of trying to reconcile "tectonic shifts in population" in the state's nine congressional districts and 100 Indiana House districts. Proposed Indiana Senate maps are to be released next week. Due…

THE NEW MAPS ARE OUT: See them here and follow for updates

Sept. 14, 2021 Indiana's Republican legislative leaders on Tuesday made public most of the redistricting maps that they plan to enact during a legislative process set to begin little more than 24 hours later. Above, at top: Proposed congressional district map. Below, from left: (1) Current congressional district map, (2) current Indiana House district map, and (3) proposed Indiana House district map. The maps, described as initial drafts and posted around noon Tuesday on the Indiana House Republicans website, can be seen in greater detail at "3" on each of the entries below. (For comparison, the current maps as redrawn…

Our redistricting roundup: Read the statewide coverage of the announcement of the proposed new districts

Newspapers and broadcast media weigh in on the Sept. 14 release of the proposed congressional and legislative districts: CNHI Indiana, Fort Wayne Journal Gazette, Indiana Daily Student, Indianapolis Business Journal, The Indianapolis Star, TheStatehouseFile.com, Times of Northwest Indiana, WFYI Indianapolis. An Associated Press analysis of the upcoming redistricting finds that along with rural counties, some urban areas in Muncie and Lake County are at risk of losing representation because of population declines. A WISH-TV (Channel 8) recap featuring Indiana Citizen publisher Bill Moreau and from WFYI's Brandon Smith, a backgrounder on redistricting. In the Muncie Star Press, retired Ball State journalism instructor…

Sheila Kennedy: Here’s how gerrymandering gives rural voters more influence

With the (tardy) release of the last census, states are embarking on redistricting. In states where the party controlling the Legislature draws the lines, that means gerrymandering—creating districts favoring the party currently in control. In some states, that’s the Democrats; in Indiana, it’s Republicans. The results of gerrymandering are pernicious. Gerrymandering gives rural voters (who reliably vote Republican) disproportionate influence. Thanks to gerrymandering, most states don’t really have “one person one vote” and the result is that rural voices are vastly overrepresented. (The last Republican Senate “majority” was elected with 20 million fewer votes than the Democratic “minority.”) State taxes paid…

A study in contrasts: The representatives versus the represented

The following report was written by veteran journalists Bill Theobald and Janet Williams for The Indiana Citizen. Pictured: Emmitt Riley III, associate professor of political science and Africana studies at DePauw University in Greencastle, Ind. Sept. 10, 2021 The face of Indiana is changing rapidly, less white, more Black, brown, and Asian. But whether the faces of the state’s representatives in Indianapolis and in Washington, D.C., will better reflect that growing diversity depends on what the GOP-controlled Indiana General Assembly does over the next few weeks to redraw the boundaries of Indiana’s state legislative and U.S. House districts. Based on what happened when…

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