Redistricting process to begin with public input meetings

IN Focus: Indiana Politics

INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana lawmakers are starting the process of redrawing maps for our congressional districts as well as state Senate and House districts, which means you may soon have a different representative in federal or state government.

Redistricting happens every ten years and is based on U.S. Census data.

The number of congressional representatives and state lawmakers will stay the same in Indiana, but their districts will soon look somewhat different.

“I would expect districts around Marion County to contract in size geographically, and districts outside of Central Indiana are going to expand in size geographically,” said State Rep. Timothy Wesco (R-Osceola), who chairs the House Elections and Apportionment Committee.

Starting Friday, state lawmakers will host nine public input meetings across Indiana before the maps are drawn, Wesco said.

“We as the legislature have constitutional and statutory obligations that we are going to follow to the letter of the law,” Wesco said.

State Rep. Wesco said the process will be fair, but not everyone feels that way.

“It’s just important to realize that we have this kind of parallel process where we have the public relations campaign and we have what’s really happening behind closed doors,” said State Rep. Matt Pierce (D-Bloomington), who also serves on the House Elections and Apportionment Committee.

Democrats like Pierce say they are worried about gerrymandering.

“It’s likely that the Republican majority will use this as an opportunity to seal in again their supermajority and draw the boundaries in a way that gives them an advantage,” Pierce said.

We asked Gov. Eric Holcomb about those concerns. He maintains the process will be conducted fairly and legally.

“I’m confident that we’ll have a transparent, open, public welcome, input welcome, and the process will be fair,” Holcomb said. “I won’t sign anything that’s not constitutional.”

Most of the meetings are scheduled for this Friday and Saturday. Another one is set for next Wednesday, Aug. 11 in Indianapolis. For a complete schedule, click here.

There will be opportunities for public input after the maps are drawn when the House and Senate elections committees meet at the Statehouse in September, Wesco said.

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