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Monday, July 18, 2016

Ind. Gov't. - "Indiana can fix gerrymandering"

Adding to earlier ILB posts on redistricting, Julia Vaughn of Common Cause and Debbie Asberry of League of Women Voters of Indiana had a long letter in the Sunday issue of the Indianapolis Star. A few quotes:

This year, the General Assembly districts our legislature drew for themselves will deprive voters of choices at the ballot box. Voters in 46 percent of state legislative districts will see only one major party candidate on the ballot because no candidate from the other party decided that it was even worth trying to win. Election Day is still four months away and the results in almost half of our state legislative races have already been decided.

Gerrymandering has troubling consequences for Indiana’s democracy and economy. Last year, the legislature passed the so-called “Religious Freedom Restoration Act,” which allowed greater discrimination against members of the LGBT community. The reaction in Indiana and around the country was immediate and embarrassing. Thanks to the actions of extremist legislators representing districts designed to be uncompetitive, Indiana appeared to be the national capital of intolerance and bigotry. Businesses have threatened to pull conferences and major sporting events out of the state while demanding a legislative fix that would prohibit discrimination. In response, legislators have done nothing. Good jobs in addition to millions of dollars in business and tourism revenue remain at risk because the General Assembly has no political incentive to fix their costly mistake.

Indiana can do better. Other states have devised solutions that take power away from the politicians and give it back to the people. Across the nation, Americans standing up for fair representation now have the wind at their backs. In Indiana, we have a major opportunity for reform through the Special Interim Committee on Redistricting, which is a group of legislators and citizens currently working to write a reform proposal for introduction during the 2017 legislative session.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on July 18, 2016 10:32 AM
Posted to Indiana Government