Home Scholarly articles Senate Republicans say no to redistribution card changes

Senate Republicans say no to redistribution card changes


Senate Democrats on Thursday lost their latest attempt to make changes to Republicans-drawn Indiana electoral district maps in the GOP-controlled legislature.

Democrats demanded nine Senate amendments, and all were slaughtered with party votes. The stage is now set for Republican state legislative and congressional cards to roll out of the legislature on Friday with little change from their introduction.

Several of the amendments were attempts to make various changes to the state’s proposed Senate and Congress maps, and three more would have set new redistribution standards for the legislature in 2030.

The debate and speeches on the floor lasted three hours. Democrats have criticized the maps drawn by Republicans as diluting the votes of Democrats and minorities by dividing the distinctively urban communities where those populations tend to be predominant.

Democrats first tried modifying entirely new citizen-drawn Senate and Congress maps in the All IN For Democracy map-drawing contest. These maps prioritized making electoral districts more competitive in the Senate and would have kept the north side of Indianapolis in Indiana’s 5th Congressional District.

Political analysts say the GOP lawmakers’ cards protect the dominance of Republicans who gave them a 7-2 majority of US House seats in Indiana and created qualified majorities in the House and the United States. Indiana Senate.

Senator Eric Koch, R-Bedford, sponsor of the redistribution legislation, said competitiveness was not a legal requirement, nor a priority for Republicans when drawing the maps. He added that the independently drawn Senate maps in the Democrats’ amendment violated the state’s constitution by drawing senators who are not eligible for re-election next year to the same districts.

Senator Tim Lanane, D-Anderson, in a debate with Koch, said the proposed Senate cards were lopsided in voting patterns, making it a “suicide mission” for a Democrat to run against a republican.

Lanane was drawn to the same district as Republican Senator Mike Gaskill of Pendleton.

“We’re not saying you shouldn’t have the majority, you are going to have the majority,” Lanane said. “But don’t tilt the field 180 degrees. Kind of give us a level playing field.

Another amendment proposed to bring back certain Senate districts in Marion County that jut out into surrounding counties. The amendment removed the “finger” from Senate District 28 that remained from the predominantly rural Hancock County to Warren Township in Marion County. District 28 was criticized at town halls for its shape on the 2011 maps, and it hasn’t changed much in the proposed new Senate maps.

“They are an urban Democratic-leaning population, and they are withdrawn into a predominantly rural community,” said Sen. Jean Breaux, D-Indianapolis.

Former Republican Senator Beverly Gard, who represented District 28, told IBJ in July that the district was changed in 2011 to water down Democratic votes in Warren Township.

The amendment would also have brought Senate District 32, held by Sen. Aaron Freeman, R-Indianapolis, back to Marion County, extending into Johnson County instead.

Koch challenged all of the amendments on the floor and said the Marion County changes proposed by Democrats would create issues with lines in other districts.

Other failed amendments to the Senate maps would have made changes not to divide the towns of Evansville, Lafayette and West Lafayette, and Fort Wayne, which would be divided into four Senate districts.

The cards will be put to the vote in plenary on Friday at 9 a.m.