Republicans move toward quick Indiana redistricting approval

Photo Supplied / Indiana Statehouse

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Republicans turned aside objections from Democrats as they moved ahead toward speedy approval of proposed new Indiana election district maps that will be used for the next 10 years.

The Indiana House elections committee voted 9-4 along party lines Monday to endorse the Republican-drawn redistricting plan for the state’s nine congressional districts and 100 state House seats based on population shifts from the 2020 census.

The proposed maps were released last week, with Democrats and voting-rights activists arguing that they had little time to study the redistricting plan before the elections committee wrapped up its public hearings about 48 hours later.

Republican leaders said they focused their map drawing on factors such as not splitting up cities and counties, and said the new maps reflect the state’s political leanings.

Democratic Rep. Matt Pierce of Bloomington said the Republican maps unfairly “water down” the influence of Democratic voters to protect the GOP’s power. Pierce objected to changes in the 5th Congressional District that Republican Rep. Victora Spartz narrowly won last year in order to shore up her reelection prospects.

“That now is back in the safe Republican column,” Pierce said. “So that’s less competition and, I think, less democracy there.”

The full Indiana House is set to vote Thursday on approving the new maps, with final votes in the state Senate next week.

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