Indiana needs a clear vision on redistricting
Saturday, March 08, 2014 4:00 AM
In 2011, when new congressional districts were announced, some of us shook our heads trying to understand how Jefferson County could land in the 6th Congressional District - the same district as Delaware County more than 100 miles to the north.
It's a few years off - 2020 to be exact - when we get a chance to fix the redistricting problem.
But, already, there is a glitch.
Several representatives and senators were behind a bill, House Bill 1032, that would have created a commission to draw up the new districts for 2020.
The bill drowned in a sea of more urgent legislation. (Not to mention - but we will - that often cited anchor of apathy.)
It would be great if Indiana created a fair and reasonable way of drawing the 100 Indiana House, 50 State Senate and nine congressional districts.
The next U.S. census will be released in 2020, and redistricting will ensue. It will be an opportunity for the state to break free from its gerrymandered past.
Take a look at a map of Indiana's congressional districts and see if you can find any logic.
The party in power contorts districts, grouping together pockets of loyal partisan voters to assure that the party's incumbents are re-elected, and to facilitate grabbing new seats in the Indiana House and Senate and in Congress.
The Republicans do it ... The Democrats do it.
Legislative and congressional districts should have regular borders that make geographic and geometric sense.
People who live near one another have common interests. Indiana's current districts confuse Hoosiers, discourage potential candidates from running and ignore many community connections.
A similar bill will surface again and again in the coming years, a testament to legislators who believe in democracy unfettered by self-interest.
How many more deaths will the concept of fair districting endure? Here's hoping we'll someday get a nonpartisan commission to draw up sensible districts.