INDIANAPOLIS -- A panel of lawmakers and legislative appointees met for the first time Thursday to begin discussing redistricting reform. But, there seems to be fundamental disagreement between committee members on whether Indiana’s system needs to be changed.
The committee spent the bulk of its first meeting hearing a review of Indiana’s redistricting process and the systems in place in other states. The members also spent time outlining their initial thoughts.
Buck Creek Sen. Brandt Hershman – echoing his other Republican colleagues – says he’s proud of the way GOP lawmakers have drawn the maps.
“And I don’t think that this is nearly the voodoo science that people suggest that it is, such that drawing a line on a map is ensuring an outcome," Hershman said. "One of the things I pointed out today is when parties have drawn the maps in the last two cycles, the opposite party immediately took control, in short order.”
But Democrats on the committee – and even Republican appointee Ted Boehm, a former State Supreme Court Justice – criticize the lack of competitiveness in Indiana’s races. They note that more than 40 percent of lawmakers in 2014 ran unopposed in the general election. The study committee runs for two years – another meeting is expected in the next couple of months.