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New Statewide District Maps Almost Official

Last updated on Thursday, April 21, 2011

(STATEHOUSE) - New district maps for the General Assembly and Indiana’s Congressional Delegation are a formality away from becoming official.

Five Democrats joined House Republicans in approving house and senate maps.

Lafayette Democrat Sheila Klinker lent her yes vote to the congressional maps as well.

About 90 minutes later, the Senate approved identical legislative maps on a party-line vote, with Hammond Democrat Frank Mrvan joining Republicans to approve the congressional map.

Although the maps are the same, either the house or senate must repeat its yes vote on the other chamber's bill to send the maps to Governor Daniels for final approval.

The house and senate made some final tweaks to the maps on Tuesday, separating Indianapolis Representatives Ed Delaney and Greg Porter into their own districts.

That still leaves two pairs of House Democrats forced into districts with each other: Vernon Smith and Chet Dobis in Lake County and Jeb Bardon and Vanessa Summers in Indianapolis.

Smith and Bardon blasted the maps on the house floor, accusing Republicans of breaking their pledges to draw fairer maps.

Three pairs of Republicans are in the same district, while four districts now have a Republican and a Democratic incumbent.

House Elections Chairman Eric Koch notes the new maps boast cleaner district lines and reunite more than 100 cities which had been divided among two or more districts on the current maps.

Democrats calculate Republicans hold a 62-24 edge under the new maps, with 14 swing districts.

Anderson Senator Tim Lanane puts the GOP baseline in the senate at 42 of the 50 seats, five more than their current total.

The congressional remap, unchanged since its unveiling last Monday, appears to hurt Second District Democrat Joe Donnelly the most, slicing away heavily Democratic Michigan City while adding Republican-leaning Elkhart, Miami and Wabash counties to a district Donnelly won last year by a single percentage point.

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