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Redistricting

Shari Frank  | Published on 12/19/2020

You Can Help Indiana Develop Fair Maps!  Fair Voting Depends on it!

 

Apply by 1/4/21 to be part of a State Wide Citizens Commission to draw fair voting districts.

 

Apply by 11:59 pm January 4th 2021 to be part of the Indiana Citizens Redistricting Commission (ICRC).  This commission will develop redistricting criteria through virtual public meetings and will demonstrate how the redistricting process in Indiana should be conducted.  See links for criteria and apply online:  https://www.lwvin.org/content.aspx?page_id=22&club_id=42001&module_id=452294

 

Or, just try your hand at drawing fair maps.  The ICRC will also sponsor a map-drawing competition and serve as the judges, awarding cash prizes to maps that best fulfill fair maps criterial. 

 

  • Why draw new maps now?Every 10 years, the U. S. Constitution requires voting districts to be redrawn based on the new Census Data.The districts must have near equal population as shown in the census.

     

  • Look how the maps have changed!Brown County is in the 9th Congressional District.The District map today is based on the 2010 Census.It stretches north to Greenwood and south to New Albany.The prior district was mapped to the east instead of north, including different communities than the current map.

     

  • What the District?See how districts have changed all the way back to 1943.Take a look at how the shapes of this district have changed over the years.Go to ACLU “What the District” and plug in your zip code.https://what-the-district.aclu.org/

     

     

  • Why did the shape of Indiana’s 9th District change so much?
    • The current 9th district, with 2010 census data, was extended northwards to include the suburbs of Indianapolis and south to the suburbs of Louisville on the Indiana side.Counties in the 9th District include Brown, Clark, Floyd Harrison, Jackson, Johnson, Lawrence, Monroe, Orange, Washington and portions of Crawford (also in the 8th district); and Morgan (also in the 4th district) and Scott (also in the 6th district)
    • The prior 9th Congressional District, based on 2000 census data was very different. It consisted mostly of rural areas in southeastern Indiana and was a competitive mix of the two main political parties.(source:https://ballotpedia.org/Indiana%27s_9th_Congressional_District_elections,_2012)
    • With the 2010 data, Indiana was redrawn producing seven districts mostly favorable to one party, and two districts favoring the other, according to measures of partisan voting such as the Cook Partisan Voting Index which compares district voting records to the nation as a whole, giving an index of each district’s competitiveness.

     

  • What makes maps fair?Should Legislators choose their voters?Or should voters choose their legislators?In Indiana as in many states, legislators draw the maps.A few states, with more in the works, have adopted Citizen Commissions to draw fair maps with competitive districts.What are some of the criteria to consider to make maps fair?
  • Can districts break up counties or cities or school districts?
  • Can districts consolidate or break up political parties to give more power to one party?
  • Can districts break up communities of interest?
  • Should the criteria used to draw maps be transparent to the community?
  • Is it okay to draw districts to favor someone in office?

 

Public will be invited to Virtual Forums to give input on Criteria for Districts

 

The Nine person Indiana Citizens Redistricting Commission will be formed in early January.  The ICRC will invite the public to virtual forums to share the criteria they think is important in developing districts.  Maps will be developed to address criteria selected.  These maps will be shared with the Indiana Legislature and compared with other maps to evaluate fairness.  The legislature will be encouraged to adopt maps deemed to satisfy fair maps criteria. 

 

Once new maps are adopted by the Indiana Legislature, they establish voting districts for the next 10 years. 

 

The League of Women Voters Brown County will be providing more information on redistricting and why it is important; information on public sessions to develop criteria starting early in 2021, map drawing software for the ICRC contest and more.  Fair maps help ensure fair representation to achieve a more perfect democracy:  One person one vote. 

 

We invite you to work with the League of Women Voters and All IN 4 Democracy to help make sure the districts are fair.  http://www.lwvbrowncounty.org/ Keep an eye on our website or contact us for more information. 

 

Shari Frank, President, League of Women Voters Brown County

12-17-20