Redistricting is the process of drawing electoral district boundaries to guarantee equal voter representation and takes place every 10 years using data from the census. Indiana law tasks the legislators to draw the boundaries, which has allowed legislators to choose their voters, instead of voters choosing their legislators. Maps must be drawn so that the voices of all citizens within a district are heard and their interests are truly represented by their legislators.
What is Gerrymandering and Why is reform needed?
Partisan gerrymandering is a practice of drawing districts to benefit a particular party or candidate. Reform is needed because gerrymandering reduces competition, discourages voting, creates polarized districts and gives an unfair advantage to the majority party.
In 2014, 50 out of 100 candidates for the Indiana House and 10 out of 25 candidates for the Indiana Senate ran unopposed by a major party. Why? Because the district maps created an unfair advantage for the majority party. The result is no competition and dismal voter turnout which continued in 2016 and 2018.
What’s happening now in Indiana?
Since all previous efforts to change the law were not supported, we now seek to influence the design of district maps drawn by the legislature. The All IN for Democracy Coalition created an Indiana Citizens Redistricting Commission (ICRC) consisting of 3 Republicans, 3 Democrats, and 3 Independents chosen from applicants from across the state.
The ICRC held 9 regional public meetings to take public testimony on what redistricting criteria should guide the map-drawing process. View the meetings on UTube. Testimony from these hearings will be compiled and sent to the legislative leaders.
The Commission will sponsor a map-drawing competition and serve as the judges for the competition. A map-drawing website will be made available so that any Hoosier may access the data to draw their own districts. Sign up for the first virtual training session on how to use the software. The maps that best fulfill the criteria established through the public testimony will be awarded cash prizes and submitted to the Indiana General Assembly (IGA) to consider for adoption.
Time to Take Action
It’s time for voters to choose their legislators, rather than legislators choosing their voters
Here are a few ways you can help with the effort to eliminate gerrymandering;
- Write letters or emails to your legislators asking for fair maps. Watch our Call-to-Action page and follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for more actions.
- Join the All In for Democracy email alert network at Common Cause.
- Invite LWVFW representatives to speak virtually to an organization of which you are a member.
- Fill out the End Gerrymandering Pledge and ask your legislators to do the same. Access the pledge here .
- Share this information with your friends and family.
For more information on how you can help contact us.
Redistricting Reform–Everything You Need to Know
This brochure explains the basics of how districts are drawn in Indiana, what’s wrong with the process and what you can do.
This 2 minute Pennies and Dimes video demonstration of the mathematical trick behind gerrymandering is called “Gerrymandering by the Numbers”, and is from the 2020 film, LINE IN THE STREET produced by Robert and Rachael Millman.
These state house district maps show the effect of gerrymandering.
Members of the Indiana Citizens Redistricting Commission are:
- Clara Glaspie of Indianapolis: Ms. Glaspie is a longtime Republican activist who was the first Black woman to participate in the Richard G. Lugar Excellence for Women Leadership series
- Leigh Morris of LaPorte: Mr. Morris is the former Mayor of LaPorte and retired as the CEO of the community hospital there.
- Marilyn Moran-Townsend of Fort Wayne: Ms. Moran-Townsend is the CEO of CVC Communication and a co-founder of AVOW, Advancing Voices of Women, a group to support and empower women as civic leaders.
- Missie Summers-Kempf of Portage: Ms. Summers-Kempf is active in a number of groups organized around racial justice and environmental issues in Northwest Indiana.
- Xavier Ramirez of Carmel: Mr. Ramirez is a student at Indiana University who works with the Civic Leader Learning Center as a student advisory board member.
- Ranjan Rohatgi of South Bend: Mr Rohatgi is Assistant Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science at Saint Mary’s College where he developed a class called “Mathematics of Voting.”
Neither Republican nor Democrat members:
- Christopher Brandon Harris of Hammond: Mr. Harris is a project manager for a commercial construction general contractor and participates in the Mitch Daniels Leadership Foundation.
- Sonia Leerkamp of Ninevah: Ms. Leerkamp is the former Hamilton County Prosecuting Attorney who serves on the board of the Brown County League of Women Voters.
- Charles Taylor of Muncie: Mr. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science at Ball State University who has moderated numerous political forums and is committed to civic education
LWV of Indiana, along with our league, hosted a documentary film series on Voter Suppression, Gerrymandering and the need for Redistricting Reform. Each night featured a different film and panelists with Q & A. Watch these films or the panel discussions at links under Resources-Redistricting on the LWVIN.org website.
Gerrymandering by Green Film Company
2020 Redistricting Cycle by Ballotpedia
This is the Indiana House district map for Allen county (more maps can be found here at the Allen County Election Board). It should be noted that Districts 50, 52, 79, 82 and 83 extend well beyond Allen county into surrounding rural counties.