INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana lawmakers have passed their new redistricting maps through the legislature, with Governor Eric Holcomb expected to sign off on the new districts.
The boundaries were drawn after weeks of committee meetings and public comment. Still, Indiana Democrats and those opposed to the map drawn by the Republican supermajority say concerns of Hoosiers were not heard or taken seriously. They are also calling out the lack of transparency with creating the maps, with some calling the new districts uncompetitive and another example of gerrymandering in progress.
Indiana House Minority Leader Phil GiaQuinta cited the need for an independent commission to draw the maps. Speaking with IN Focus, he views the Indiana Redistricting process as a “conflict of interest for legislators to draw their own districts and give themselves safe seats going forward.”
State Rep. GiaQuinta went on to say that Democrats have been calling for an independent redistricting commission for years, saying it can “help restore faith in the system.”
In the coming session, State Rep. GiaQuinta expects the legislature to debate issues of voting rights and more social issues like abortion access in Indiana.
“That’s what the public wants. They want to have options out there to make it easier to vote,” State Rep. GiaQuinta said. “Unfortunately what we’ve seen going on in the rest of the country, Republicans are making it more difficult to vote.”
In an interview Friday after the final vote on redistricting, House Speaker Todd Huston defended the process, insisting Republicans followed all relevant state and federal guidelines to draw the new maps.
“We drew maps hitting on these principles, there just happened to be a lot of Republicans across the state,” said Huston.