Voters have become more interested in the redistricting process and how it impacts them, and want to have more of a say.
But first, they need to educate themselves on the redistricting process. That’s why a state group formed to fight for a new process is hosting a discussion in Franklin next week to talk about how redistricting works, how you can get involved and why, said Julia Vaughn, policy director for Common Cause Indiana.
Redistricting is done every 10 years after the U.S. Census. The boundaries drawn decide what areas are covered by state senators’ and state representatives’ districts, and U.S. congressional districts.
A big concern with redistricting is gerrymandering, where district boundaries are chosen with the goal of keeping a certain political party or candidate in office. Currently a case is pending in the U.S. Supreme Court that could rule gerrymandering as unconstitutional, meaning the districts and redistricting processes across the nation could be challenged, Vaughn said.
That could also mean that residents end up with lawmakers that don’t best represent them and their interests, she said.
The Indiana Coalition for Independent Redistricting is meeting with residents and officials to tout its proposal to have residents — not lawmakers — handle the redistricting process, removing any concern that a political party or candidate could draw the district lines for their benefit, she said. They want that system in place for the next redistricting in 2021.
Members of the group want to educate people about the process and how they can get involved, because the only way to change the process is through grassroots support, she said.
“There is a growing interest in it,” she said.
“People are starting to realize, ‘hey, this really matters.’”
A panel discussion is planned to discuss the importance of reform to the redistricting process.
What: Professors from Indiana University and the policy director for Common Cause Indiana will speak about the redistricting process and why reform is needed.
When: 7 p.m. Tuesday
Where: Napolitan Student Center, Branigin Room, Franklin College, 101 Branigin Blvd., Franklin