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 saying they had little time to study the redistricting plan.
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. Political analysts have found the redistricting plan would give Republicans a big advantage in seven of Indiana’s nine congressional districts and likely give them 69 of the 100 Indiana House seats even with a typical 56% Republican share of the statewide vote.
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 shifting the northern tier of Democratic-leaning Marion County from the 5th District that Republican Rep. Victora Spartz narrowly won last year in order to shore up her reelection prospects.
The full Indiana House is set to vote Thursday on approving the new maps, with final votes in the state Senate set for Oct 1 — making Indiana one of the first states to complete the once-a-decade redistricting process.