To the editor:
I am deeply disappointed in my state senator, Greg Walker. Senator Walker’s “2018 Legislative Survey” recently arrived in my mailbox. Reforming the state’s redistricting process by establishing a non-partisan body to draw legislative districts is not on his legislative priority list. Liquor sales apparently have more importance than fair elections.
Indiana’s current redistricting system allows legislators to draw their own district boundaries (the players are also the umpires). Computer mapping software can now create precision maps which benefit one party or candidate (gerrymandering). The majority of Hoosiers live in “safe” districts where elections are uncontested or uncompetitive, and elected officials have no need to listen to all their constituents. They can cater to their donors and the segment of their party which votes in primary elections.
Our legislature does not reflect the distribution of actual voters in our state, potential candidates choose not to run for office, voter turnout has plummeted and civil discourse and democracy itself are undermined.
It is time for our legislators to declare themselves. They are either for gerrymandering, or they are against it. Please contact your state representative and senator (find them at www.indianavoters.in.gov).
Tell them you expect independent redistricting reform to be a high priority in the 2018 legislative session. Write in your priorities on their legislative surveys. Turn out for public events. Be persistent. Demand the government you deserve.