Editor’s note: This story has been updated.
The Indiana General Assembly will be hosting a series of meetings around the state in August to get public input on the upcoming redistricting process prior to the congressional and state legislative maps being redrawn.
“Public input on redistricting is extremely important to the map-drawing process,” Sen. Jon Ford, R-Terre Haute, chair of the Senate Committee on Elections, said in a news release. “We look forward to hearing from Hoosiers from all over Indiana during these meetings.”
Legislators are scheduled to reconvene in mid- to late-September to create new districts for the U.S. House of Representatives along with the Indiana House of Representatives and Senate. Republican leaders have announced plans to draw the maps using the “legacy data” scheduled to be released from the U.S. Census in mid-August.
An online portal with mapping software that will enable Hoosiers to draw and submit their own maps is scheduled to be launched in late August.
The public meetings will be held in each of the Indiana’s nine congressional districts.
Ford will chair the redistricting meetings in the southern half of Indiana and Rep. Tim Wesco, R-Osceola, chair of the House Committee on Elections and Apportionment, will chair the meetings in the northern half of the state.
“We look forward to hosting these important meetings across the state to hear directly from the public on Indiana’s redistricting process,” Wesco said. “Hoosiers can be confident that we’ll continue to meet all of our statutory and constitutional requirements.”
In the northern half of the state, meetings will be held Friday, Aug. 6, and Saturday, Aug. 7, at Ivy Tech campuses including:
- Lafayette, 10 a.m. to noon Aug. 6
- Valparaiso, 3-5 p.m. CDT on Aug. 6
- Fort Wayne, 10 a.m. to noon Aug. 7
- Elkhart, 4-6 p.m. Aug. 7
Meetings in the southern half of the state will be held Aug. 6 and 7 at Ivy Tech campuses including:
- Anderson, 10 a.m. to noon Aug. 6
- Columbus, 4-6 p.m. Aug. 6
- Evansville, 9-11 a.m. CDT on Aug. 7
- Sellersburg, 4-6 p.m. Aug. 7
Ford and Wesco will co-chair a central Indiana meeting from 1-3 p.m. Aug. 11 in the House Chamber of the Indiana Statehouse.
The public will be able to comment on the redistricting process, but Republican legislators won’t reveal their proposed new districts until after the expected Aug. 16 release of redistricting data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Republican legislative leaders haven’t agreed to a call from voting rights activists for the public have at least a month to review proposed district maps before they are finalized.
State Democratic Party Chairman Mike Schmuhl said Democrats will fight against gerrymandered maps that continue an “imbalance in our government.”
As it is available, more information about the meetings will be posted on the Indiana General Assembly’s website.