INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana’s pro-democracy leaders will call on the Indiana General Assembly to immediately improve this year’s redistricting process at a rally on Wednesday, August 11 at 11:30 a.m. ET at the Indiana Statehouse.
Speakers at the rally include:
- Julia Vaughn, Executive Director of Common Cause Indiana
- Marilyn Moran Townsend, Republican member, Indiana Citizens Redistricting Commission
- Xavier Ramirez, Democrat member, Indiana Citizens Redistricting Commission
- Christopher Harris, Independent member, Indiana Citizens Redistricting Commission
- Barbara Bolling Williams, Indiana State Conference of the NAACP
Representatives from Common Cause Indiana, All IN for Democracy, Indiana’s Coalition for Independent Redistricting, and the Indiana State Conference of the NAACP, will ask state leaders to disclose details of the Republican political consultant’s contract that it has hired for redistricting, a process that should be bipartisan.
The coalition will also highlight why the current opportunities for public participation are inadequate and how they limit opportunities for a diverse collection of Hoosiers to have a say in redistricting, the state’s most important democratic process this year.
The coalition will ask that this year’s redistricting process be bipartisan and transparent and allow adequate time for the public to review and comment on the draft maps. The event will be followed by a performance by Indiana singer and songwriter Carrie Newcomer.
On July 26, the Indiana General Assembly announced eight public hearings on redistricting to take place over a span of three days; August 6, 7, and 11. Most of the hearings have been scheduled during working hours, at 10 a.m., 4 p.m., and 1 p.m. This means Hoosiers will have only three days to participate in a democratic process that will impact elections for the next decade.
The current schedule makes it particularly difficult for seniors, the disabled, working families, students without cars, and many others to participate, especially with only two weeks of notice.
Redistricting happens every ten years and it is the most important issue facing the state.
It’s the process by which the Indiana General Assembly uses updated population data from the Census to draw new district maps. This process helps ensure that even as Indiana’s communities grow and change, every citizen will have equal representation in government. These new district maps determine voters’ representatives in government, where they vote, and how they vote for the next decade.
Historically, the state legislature led the entire redistricting process and continues to do so today. This means that the politicians have the power to draw their own district’s maps, allowing them to determine who can and cannot vote for them on Election Day. Such great power means there is no check and balance in place for any politicians in power who want to draw district lines that split cities or tear neighborhoods apart if it is politically advantageous.
A fair redistricting process would be bipartisan, transparent, and would include multiple opportunities for robust public participation before and after proposed maps are drawn. A bipartisan and independent process would mean elected officials would not be allowed to cherry-pick their voters and would instead allow voters to choose their leaders, requiring the politicians to earn every vote in every corner of the state.
Since 2015, All IN for Democracy has advocated for a redistricting process that transfers power from the politicians to the people.
To view All IN for Democracy’s 2021 Redistricting Report, click here.