Indiana House committee advances proposed election district maps

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The Indiana House Elections Committee voted 9-4 along party lines Tuesday morning to advance the proposed congressional and House district election maps released last week by Republicans.

The proposed maps essentially stayed the same as when they were released, with one minor amendment moving House districts in Fort Wayne to avoid splitting up an apartment complex.

House Republicans tasked with drawing the maps said the proposed drafts meet all state and federal requirements, as well as taking into consideration some public comments made at the hearings across the state last month. Rep. Tim Wesco, R-Osceola, chairman of the House Elections Committee, said they specifically attempted to keep communities of interest together, including keeping the Lake Michigan shoreline together and placing the communities along the Ohio River in two instead of three congressional districts.

Democrats on the committee said Monday that the map drafts preserve the status quo of keeping a Republican majority in the Statehouse.

They pointed to a redistricting plan analysis conducted for the political group Women4Change last week that projected Republicans would likely win 69 of the 100 Indiana House seats while typically receiving 56% of the vote. Republicans currently hold a 71-29 supermajority in the Indiana House.

“Unfortunately, the status-quo is an unfair map,” said Rep. Matt Pierce, D-Bloomington.

The proposed House and congressional maps will move to the full House for amendments starting Wednesday. Proposed Senate district maps released Tuesday are expected to be amended into the House bill with the House and congressional maps at that time.

The map drafts are scheduled to go before the full House for a vote Thursday. The Senate Elections Committee will hold a public hearing on the proposed maps on Sept. 27.

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