To the editor:
Residents of Johnson County, and all citizens of Indiana have an important opportunity to impact the proposals before the legislature this fall on how Indiana will define voting districts.
I encourage all residents to attend “Fair Elections, Strong Democracy. A Public Forum on Redistricting Reform,” which will be conducted at 7 tonight in the Napolitan Student Center, Branigin Room at Franklin College.
Under the current districting plan, many elected officials represent areas which are not physically close to their place of residence. This results in weakened ties to the districts they represent and unfamiliarity with residents’ needs and wishes.
Additionally, it is unfair and a direct conflict of interest for representatives to draw the maps for their own districts, as is the current practice. This should not continue.
The current system causes many residents to lose interest in participating in elections. They do not know their representatives nor do they feel that voting will result in electing officials who know or care about them, so they do not vote.
In 2014, 44 of the 100 state house races were won by candidates who ran unopposed, and Indiana had the lowest voter turnout in the nation.
Now, more than ever, with politics sharply dividing many communities, it is essential that fair, local representation be the standard in our state. This issue affects our lives. As citizens, we must be informed.