INDIANAPOLIS — The initial proposed drafts of the U.S. House of Representatives and Indiana House of Representatives districts maps have been released by state republicans.
The maps, showing the state legislative and congressional district boundaries, are redrawn every 10 years following the U.S. Census.
The maps were originally scheduled to be addressed earlier this year but some necessary data from the U.S. Census Bureau wasn't available at the time, according to the Indiana General Assembly's website. The needed data was delivered on Aug. 12.
What are the initial drafts of the new maps?
Proposed Indiana State House of Representatives Districts
Proposed Indiana Congressional Districts
What were the old maps?
Congressional Districts from 2011-2021
Indiana House Districts from 2011-2021
Indiana Senate Districts from 2011-2021
From 1-5 p.m. Wednesday and 10 a.m. until testimony concludes on Thursday, Hoosiers will be able to provide feedback to the House Elections and Apportionment Committee.
The committee is scheduled to meet on Sept. 20 for an amend-and-vote-only meeting and then the full House is expected to vote on the committee report.
On Sept. 22, representatives will meet on Sept. 22 and 23 for the second and third reading.
The initial drafts of the Senate maps are expected to be posted on Sept. 21.
You can view more information about the meetings here.
Elected officials and political organizations in Indiana have released statements in response to the maps.
Indiana State Rep. Greg Steuerwald, R-Avon:
These proposed maps are the culmination of a months-long effort, which included listening to Hoosiers across the state. We pulled together all the data along with public input to draw fair maps that account for shifts in population over the years. We look forward to obtaining additional public input and fulfilling our constitutional duties in the coming weeks
Indiana House Speaker Todd Huston, R-Fishers:
These maps follow all statutory and constitutional requirements and reflect the population trends over the last 10 years. For the new House maps, Representative Steuerwald took a holistic approach and worked tremendously hard to keep communities of interest together with a focus on compactness.
Indiana State Sen. Eric Koch, R-Bedford:
I have been pleased with the high level of collaboration between the House and Senate as we have worked to prepare our new draft congressional map. I look forward to continued conversations with members of the public and other legislators on this proposal as we move forward.
Indiana House Democratic Leader Phil GiaQuinta, D-Ft. Wayne:
Indiana House Democrats continue to analyze the House Republicans’ redistricting plan. While we don’t know everything about these newly drawn districts, we do know that any map drawn with the assistance of high-priced D.C. consultants, using advanced political and consumer data points, will benefit the Indiana GOP - not Hoosier voters.
Mike Schmuhl, Chairman of the Indiana Democratic Party
Indiana Republicans have once again manipulated our Hoosier democracy in this year’s redistricting period. Over the summer, they held shadow hearings that felt more like a comment box, promised a process that would be ‘fair’ and transparent’, and when it mattered most, manipulated the system once again to favor themselves over Hoosier voters. The Republicans’ new Indiana House and Congressional maps keep in place a broken system where self-serving politicians benefit at the expense of Indiana families. These maps were drawn unfairly, without transparency, and are gerrymandered in a way that checks the boxes of the high-priced, Washington, D.C. Republican consultant the Indiana GOP hired to solidify this partisan process.
In the months and years ahead, Indiana Democrats will continue to work overtime to deliver a brighter future for all Hoosiers where voting rights are expanded, workers make a livable wage to provide for their families, our public schools and teachers become some of the best in the country, and every Hoosier feels as though they belong. Our Party is big, bold, and welcoming, and we look forward to offering Hoosier voters a better path forward in the elections ahead.
Several state legislators have written op-eds reflecting their thoughts on redistricting. Their op-eds are below.
ERRINGTON: LEGISLATORS CANNOT TRULY REPRESENT THE PEOPLE IF THEY DO NOT KNOW THE PEOPLE
By: State Representative Sue Errington (D-Muncie)
Earlier this month, I and my fellow members of the House Elections and Appropriations Committee attended public redistricting hearings across the state of Indiana and listened as hundreds of Hoosiers called for the same thing: fair maps.
In a time when politics and the pandemic have divided so many, it was inspiring to hear hundreds of Hoosiers unite and demand that the legislature implement a nonpartisan redistricting process. Republicans and Democrats alike shared their many frustrations, including the fact that many of their communities were split up like jigsaw puzzles.
For example, my home county, Delaware County, is divided among five state representatives. Only two of those representatives, including myself, actually live in Delaware County. Yet, the other three representatives are expected to be advocates for the people of Delaware County in the General Assembly. How can they know what to advocate for if they don't live and engage with the community? Every county is unique. Every county has its own values, causes and issues. On top of that, Delaware County is home to Ball State University, which brings its own needs and concerns when it comes to representation.
Legislators cannot truly represent the people if they do not know the people.
Counties like mine are split up to create safe districts and easy elections for the supermajority. There is no incentive to get to know the community or its people because the legislator doesn't need their vote. They don't have to put in the effort to get to know Delaware County because they have several other counties within their district to make up the difference at the polls. This has a ripple effect. The legislator doesn't know or need to advocate for legislation and change that benefits the people so they support or oppose legislation based on their own biases or their own party agendas. This is how Indiana has seen extremely partisan policy, like the abortion reversal or permit-less gun carry legislation we saw in the 2021 Legislative Session. That policy always ends up costing Hoosiers, either through costly, taxpayer-funded lawsuits or further infringement of basic rights.
The testimony of Marilyn Moran Townsend during Indianapolis's redistricting hearing united the voices of all concerned Hoosiers: "We understand from our voters that they believe that unfair maps by either party leads to less representative government. It leads to more abuses in government, it leads to more extreme government, and it leads to less responsive government."
Hoosiers deserve to look at their representatives and see their communities reflected back. They deserve to see their values and causes reflected in the legislation their representatives present. They deserve maps free from political bias and greed.
Hoosiers have made their voices heard. Now it is time to turn their words into action and draw fair maps.
BAUER: 'IT IS TIME TO REFORM INDIANA'S LEGISLATIVE REDISTRICTING PROCESS TO ALLOW FOR AN INDEPENDENT, TRANSPARENT AND EQUITABLE STATE'
By: State Representative Maureen Bauer (D-South Bend)
We are facing turbulent social, economic and political times. We continue to adjust our day-to-day routines as we still endure the impacts of a year-and-a-half-long global pandemic and surging Delta variant.
During times like these, it couldn’t be more clear the importance of responsible leadership, and representative government, that will serve you in decision making.
This year’s redistricting process is the opportunity to demand fair representation in government. The new maps will influence how your future state and federal elected leaders will address the hardships we face as a community, the opportunities provided to you and your family and will shape Indiana’s political climate for the next decade.
It is well known that Indiana has more gerrymandered state legislative maps than 95% of the country. The result of one-party-rule has led to non-responsive government, a lack of representation in your elected officials and extreme policy agendas.
The practice, known as gerrymandering, is a way of manipulating political boundaries to allow legislators to pick their voters when it should be the other way around.
While attending the one and only public hearing in our region on redistricting, I heard the overwhelming demand from residents for inclusion in the map-drawing process. Despite these efforts, decisions are being made right now behind closed doors by the supermajority on who will represent you.
While 2020 election results for statewide candidates totaled an average of 57% of the vote, it is not reflective of the current imbalance of power of a 71% and 78% supermajority in the House and Senate.
While Indiana’s population is 51% female, our Indiana General Assembly is represented by a governing body of decision makers that is only 26% women.
By continuing to allow politicians the power to draw their own districts that lean toward their own political party, we will continue to settle for non-responsive government, a lack of representation in decision makers that is not reflective of our state’s population, and extreme, partisan policy which often get overturned in a long and expensive court process at the taxpayer’s expense. If we want to restore faith in our democratic system, and truly make this a state that works, it is time to end partisan gerrymandering.
Representative government requires inclusion, transparency and public involvement. The nine public hearings that occurred this summer did not provide any proposed maps for public comment, and avoided urban communities like South Bend, thereby neglecting the voice of minority populations, people without reliable transportation and working families.
It is time to reform Indiana's legislative redistricting process to allow for an independent, transparent and equitable state. I am encouraging all Hoosiers to remain vigilant as the next ten years of our state is shaped this month.
PFAFF: HOOSIERS DESERVE FAIR MAPS
By: State Representative Tonya Pfaff (D-Terre Haute)
As the Ranking Democratic Member of the House Elections Committee, I’ve had the opportunity to attend five public hearings all around the state to learn more about what Hoosiers care about when it comes to new district maps for the Legislature.
What I learned in these meetings is that Hoosiers want answers. They want to know how the maps are going to be drawn, what data is going to be used and most importantly, how they can get involved.
It is essential that all Hoosiers feel like their voices are being heard.
We all know that when voters don’t feel like they are being heard, they don’t show up at the polls. That doesn’t sit well with me, especially considering the fact that Indiana currently ranks 48th nationally in political engagement.
As an educator attempting to shape the minds of teenagers, I am well aware that my students will be voting in the next couple of years.
What the Legislature does with the maps now will determine how much faith they’ll have in their government. It will determine if their districts have representation that dutifully advocates for their interests. It will determine if they have competitive districts that provide choices on the ballot.
I want to ensure these maps give them a reason to turn up and exercise their civic duty. Rigging the system by gerrymandering our maps again and conducting meetings without giving them any answers to their questions is not an option and is an insult to our voters.
There are many factors to consider when we talk about how we’re going to draw these maps. Things like contiguity and compactness are certainly important, but It should be our top priority to ensure that voters have faith in the political process. They need to know their voices aren’t being taken away from them before they even get to the polls.
Hoosiers want the process to be fair, transparent and they want to be included. They’ve made their opinions known. Now we need to listen. The gravity of the decisions we make now will reverberate for the next 10 years and we must get this right.