Rethinking Redistricting

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Rethinking Redistricting

With new maps to be drawm in 2021, this year is likely last chance for advocates of a new system

(INDIANAPOLIS) - This year could be legislators' last chance to change the way it decides who you get to vote for.

In two years, legislators will redraw Indiana's congressional and General Assembly districts. Five different bills call for an independent commission to either draw Indiana's new districts, or recommend a map, which legislators would have to approve.

Indianapolis Senator John Ruckelshaus (R) maintains the public is losing trust in the system because of the way districts are drawn now, with legislators deciding which voters they'll represent. He says the issue is personal for him -- a Democratic-drawn map swept him out of a House seat three decades ago.

House Speaker Brian Bosma notes he's authored redistricting reform bills in the past, but says the Senate has never shown any interest. He says it's up to senators to decide whether the idea advances this year.

Districts must be redrawn in 2021 to reflect population shifts in next year's census. If the system isn't changed next year, 2020 is probably too late to change the system. Some legislators contend it's too late already -- they argue only a constitutional amendment can change legislators' power to draw districts, and the soonest an amendment could reach the voters is 2022.

(Photo: Eric Berman)

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