MORE DRAMA, TIGHTER DEADLINES: The scramble to redistrict locally continues along familiar battle lines. Some might not even bother.

The following report was written by veteran journalists Janet Williams and Bill Theobald for The Indiana Citizen. Nov. 18, 2021 Maybe you thought the political drama of redistricting was over for another decade. That would be wrong. Very wrong. It’s been more than six weeks since Gov. Eric Holcomb signed into law Indiana’s new congressional and legislative district maps, but dozens of Indiana counties, cities and school corporations still face the complex and critical task of redrawing the boundaries for their own local offices – against a much tighter deadline because of census delays. According to one oversight group, some local government…

John Krull commentary: Gerrymandering and the race to the bottom

They steal that which does not belong to them. And then politicians wonder why people do not trust them. What politicians crave most is power. They will do anything to hold it, to exert it, to wield it like a whip. That is why most politicians—Republican and Democrat—are so opposed to anything resembling a fair system of redistricting. They don’t want the maps drawn the right way, one that makes elections competitive and reflects the will of the people they’re supposed to represent. They hate fair maps because such maps take the power away from the politicians and put it…

In South Bend, a debate over racial gerrymandering and hiring of outside consultants in local redistricting

UPDATE: After an hourlong debate, the St. Joseph County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday officially approved a redrawing of the districts from which the board's three members will be elected for the next decade. The 2-1 vote reflected division within the all-Republican board. Public testimony at the morning meeting and a community forum the night before similarly was split between those who described the decennial redistricting as an overdue fix for the current one and others who said it unfairly consolidates -- and limits the impact of -- minority populations and Democratic votes. The key point of contention involved the…

A MOMENT OF TRUTH FOR INDY DEMOCRATS: Will the City-County Council’s redistricting follow the example of Bloomington or the Statehouse?

The story might be familiar by now: The once-a-decade duty of redistricting rests with a legislative supermajority, and calls for an independent, nonpartisan redrawing of district lines are ignored. It's a story that just played out in the Indiana Statehouse, with a Republican-led juggernaut resulting in congressional and legislative districts already criticized as some of the most gerrymandered in the nation. Six blocks east on Market Street in the City-County Building, the story has a twist: It's a  Democratic supermajority that will be in charge of redistricting, and its plans remain unclear. Will the City-County Council -- which went on…

WELCOME TO MONROE COUNTY: Where citizens will be in charge of redistricting

Oct. 25, 2021 Continuing our coverage of this year’s redistricting process, the following report was written by veteran Bloomington journalist Steve Hinnefeld for The Indiana Citizen. Bloomington, Ind. -- Earlier this month, Indiana’s Republican legislative supermajority wrapped up a decennial redistricting process that flat-out rejected the idea of having a nonpartisan, independent commission redraw the state’s congressional and legislative district maps. But 55 miles to the south, in one of Indiana’s few Democratic strongholds, officials in Monroe County and Bloomington instead have embraced the idea. The board of county commissioners and city council, both controlled by Democrats, will rely on separate, political…

REDISTRICTING, ROUND 2: At the local level, another chance for openness and fair maps

October 21, 2021 The introduction, passage and enactment of new congressional and state legislative district maps by the 148 state legislators in attendance and the Governor between Sept. 14 and Oct. 4 certainly provided the most visible evidence of the civic impact of the 2020 census. But that census also is causing hundreds of Hoosier officeholders – and two independent commissions -- to begin redrawing boundaries of thousands of political units from precincts to school board, county council and commission and city council districts. The redistricting of local governments and school boards rarely attracts the public attention given state-level map-drawing,…