Republicans voted down a Democratic overhaul of Indiana’s congressional redistricting before moving ahead with their speedy approval of new election district maps that will be used for the next decade.
The Indiana Senate elections committee voted 7-2 along party lines Tuesday in favor of the Republican-drawn redistricting plan for the state’s nine congressional districts and 150 state legislative seats based on population shifts from the 2020 census.
Political analysts say the new maps protect Republicans’ dominance that has given them a 7-2 majority of Indiana’s U.S. House seats and bigger majorities in the state Legislature than merited by their statewide vote.
Democrats have especially objected to changes made in central Indiana’s 5th Congressional District to boost Republican Rep. Victoria Spartz’s reelection prospects after she narrowly won last year.
Democrats on the committee proposed a different congressional map submitted online by a voter keeping the Democratic-leaning north side of Indianapolis in the district, along with much of the city’s northern and western suburbs. Democratic Sen. J.D. Ford of Indianapolis said it would be a politically competitive district.
Redistricting bill sponsor Republican Eric Koch of Bedford objected to the Democratic proposal because it split more of LaPorte County from Lake Michigan areas in the 1st District and had larger differences in population among the nine districts.
The Senate and House are expected to vote Friday on approving the redistricting plan.