Indiana Republicans defend speedy redistricting approval


INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Republican leaders defended their fast-track work to approve Indiana’s new congressional and legislative election districts over the next two weeks, pushing back Wednesday against critics who’ve argued the public won’t have enough time to weigh in on the once-a-decade redistricting.

The Indiana House elections committee opened two days of public hearings on the redistricting plan a little more than 24 hours after the new congressional and Indiana House maps were posted online. Proposed new state Senate maps won’t be made public until Tuesday.

Political analysts say the new maps are likely to preserve the 7-2 Republican control of Indiana’s congressional seats and protect the commanding majority Republicans have in the state House.

Democrats and voting-rights groups argue the public will have little time to study and comment on the new maps ahead of the final votes for General Assembly approval expected on Oct. 1.

Republican House Speaker Todd Huston said Wednesday that the redistricting plan avoids splitting counties and cities among districts while keeping them compact.

“We wanted to have maps that honored the goals and what we were trying to accomplish,” Huston said. “People are going to think what they want to think.”

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