INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Republican lawmakers gave their final approval Friday of their party’s redrawing of Indiana’s congressional and legislative districts as they brushed off objections that the new maps give them an excessive election advantage and dilute the influence of minority and urban voters.
The Indiana Senate and House both saw near-party line votes in favor of the redistricting plan. The Senate voted 36-12 and the House 64-25, advancing the plan to Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb for his signature.
Political analysts say the new maps that will be used through the 2030 elections protect the Republican dominance that has given them a 7-2 majority of Indiana’s U.S. House seats and commanding majorities in the state Legislature.
Republicans maintain they’ve followed all federal and state laws for redistricting to match population changes recorded by the census while avoiding splitting counties and cities between multiple districts as much as possible.
Democrats and civil rights groups pointed to the fragmenting of Fort Wayne’s large Black and Latino communities among three likely Republican Senate districts that will have rural white voters making up the majorities.
“When you have rural Indiana swooping into the urban, you’re actually diluting those voters, you’re diluting those voices,” Democratic Sen. J.D. Ford of Indianapolis said.