INDIANAPOLIS (AP): Indiana Senate Republicans Thursday unanimously rejected last-ditch attempts by Democrats to reduce the splitting up of several urban areas into multiple legislative districts that they argued dilute the influence of minority voters and city residents.
Republican senators turned aside the proposals from Democrats for Senate districts focused on the cities of Fort Wayne and Evansville and combining the cities of Lafayette and West Lafayette. The Republican-dominated Senate and House are set to take final votes Friday approving the once-a-decade redistricting plan and advance it to GOP Gov. Eric Holcomb.
Republicans said the redistricting plan was aimed at drawing compact districts that didn’t unnecessarily divide cities and counties between districts.
But Democrats faulted the maps for splitting the city of Fort Wayne up among four state Senate districts favoring Republicans, three of which include substantial rural areas. Democrats argued it was wrong to include the Black and Hispanic communities on Fort Wayne’s south side in a district dominated by mostly white rural voters.
“You kept the south side and the people of Fort Wayne from having a voice in this legislative body for things that they think are better for them, their families, their loved ones and that’s not right,” said Democratic Sen. Greg Taylor of Indianapolis.