July 17, 2017

After Defeat At The Statehouse, Redistricting Reform Advocates Look To Grassroots Support

Rally attendee Greg Bowes shows off House District 99, which he says is his favorite illustration of gerrymandering in the state. (Photo by Drew Daudelin)

A bill that changes how the state draws its districts was quickly killed at the Statehouse this year. A few dozen people rallied at the Statehouse Monday to call again for redistricting reform. 

Speakers at the rally accuse some state lawmakers of redrawing district lines to help win their own elections – a tactic known as gerrymandering.

One of those speakers was Representative Carey Hamilton (D-Indianapolis). She says in light of the latest bill’s failure, a groundswell of public support might prove necessary for lawmakers to take action.

“This is about the fundamentals of our democracy, and competition in our elections," Hamilton says. "And I think as more people realize that, that it’s not only not partisan but it’s basic to our democracy working well, folks will get on board.”

The redistricting bill did have bi-partisan support. The bill itself was authored by Republican Representative Jerry Torr.

The U.S. Supreme Court last month agreed to hear a case from Wisconsin, where a lower court ruled that the state's Republican-drawn map was an "unconstitutional partisan gerrymander."

Some at the Indianapolis rally say they’re hopeful the case swings their way.

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