Resurrecting redistricting reform in Indiana

The Journal Gazette — EDITORIAL Among the unfinished business of this year’s General Assembly session is one particularly vexing failure on redistricting.

The long-overdue reform plan didn’t simply die; the bill – which was assigned to the Committee on Elections and Apportionment – was killed. Committee chair Rep. Milo Smith blocked a vote, saying the committee had insufficient time to prepare amendments to the proposal.

That’s a real shame, and a real loss for the state, which badly needs a change in the way redistricting is done. Currently, the process is handled by the state Senate and Indiana House after the U.S. census tallies the state’s population.

Over the years, both Democrats and Republicans have taken advantage of a system that gives the legislature responsibility for drawing its own legislative and congressional districts. The resulting maps make it easy for incumbents to get re-elected and nearly impossible for challengers to be competitive. The real losers are the voters, whose role in the political process has been reduced.

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