From The Cook Political Report: Indiana 2021 redistricting preview

For now, the talk of Indiana is still March Madness and the NCAA tournament, not congressional redistricting. But later this year, Republicans will have the opportunity to redraw the state's nine seats. And although they've dominated statewide elections and have held a comfortable 7-2 lead in the House delegation for the last decade, it's possible they could attempt to stretch their lead even further. In 2011, Republicans led by then-Gov. Mitch Daniels passed a relatively compact plan (below, left) that "undid" a gerrymander Democrats had passed in 2001. It packs Democrats into two blue seats - the Northwest Indiana 1st…

It’s official: Census numbers show Indiana won’t lose a seat in Congress

The U.S. Census Bureau released its first wave of numbers from the pandemic-delayed 2020 census Monday, and they contained better news for Indiana than for some of its Midwestern neighbors. As in the last congressional reapportionment after the 2010 census, the Hoosier State will not lose a seat in its congressional delegation, nor a vote in the Electoral College, as a result of population change during the past decade. But three of its next-door neighbors -- Illinois, Michigan and Ohio -- will lose a seat, along with New York, California, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia The change results from those states…

Plan to reconvene for redistricting raises concerns

Current and former state legislators and a former Indiana Supreme Court justice are raising concerns that a bill to extend rather than adjourn the 2021 session blurs the separation of powers and could have troubling implications for the future. The Indiana General Assembly passed House Bill 1372 late in the session with little discussion or opposition, extending the legislative session until Nov. 15. The coronavirus pandemic postponed 2020 census results and the change was necessary in order to vote on redistricting in the fall, proponents say. Now some worry the unusual move could set a precedent for a full-time legislature, and…

Amended legislation clears the way for reconvened session on redistricting later this year

Amended legislation adopted by the Indiana House and Senate on April 15 clears the way for a reconvened session later this year in which lawmakers will redraw congressional and legislative districts. The conference committee report on House Bill 1372, which originally dealt with the unrelated topic of reimbursing county sheriffs for emergency transportation of inmates, added provisions to allow the General Assembly to control the redistricting process which was thrown off course by a delay in 2020 census data resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. The data ordinarily would have been available in time for the legislature to complete the process…

Legislative leaders shed some light on redistricting plans, AP reports

Indiana’s Republican legislative leadership has offered a few details about possible plans for the decennial redistricting process, according to an Associated Press report on Sunday. According to the report, Indiana House Speaker Todd Huston suggested public hearings might be held around the state, and the House and Senate election committees would meet to discuss the maps, prior to a reconvened  legislative session expected after census data is released in late September. Huston’s remarks followed the release of Senate Republicans’ proposed state budget bill, which includes provisions for the official end of the current legislative session, ordinarily set at the end of April, to be…

From Muncie: Effective representation requires fair maps

The following column was written by Charles D. Taylor, professor of political science at Ball State University and an independent member of the Indiana Citizens Redistricting Commission, a group formed to advise and provide alternatives to the Indiana General Assembly in the decennial redrawing of Indiana’s congressional and legislative districts. This column first appeared in the Muncie Star Press on April 1, 2021. *** Congressional and state legislative districts must be redrawn every 10 years following completion of the U.S. Census. Redistricting ensures that districts have nearly equal population, preserving the important constitutional principle of one person-one vote, but it…