Wednesday, June 28, 2017

AP Study Shows Democrats Underrepresented in Indiana House, Indiana U.S. House Delegation

The Associated Press confirmed what Democrats have known for several years and what Republicans have been afraid to admit they know: Indiana's General Assembly districts are gerrymandered.

The AP did a study showing that the vote totals from the 2016 election should have resulted in about five more Indiana House seats and one more U.S. House seat for the Democrats.

The Indiana Senate seats were not analyzed, but a simple look at the map of Central Indiana shows that they are perhaps even more gerrymandered than the Indiana House seats.  Several of the Indiana Senate seats appear to be mostly in Marion County only to have parts jog outward into one of the surrounding counties or vice versa.

Take Senate District 28 for example.  The district consists of mostly Hancock and Shelby Counties, but a long finger of the district knifes into Marion County taking in a narrow swath between roughly I-70 and Washington Street going west to Emerson Avenue.  Senate District 36 on the southside encompasses parts of Center and Perry Townships in Marion County, but it runs a narrow leg into Johnson County.  In fact, all seats not held by Democrats in Marion County are just like this (District 32 excluded), and three of them are some of the closest races in the Indiana Senate.

Back in 2010, I wrote a blog post talking about that election cycle.  It was so critical.  At that time, the Indiana House had a 52-48 majority for the Democrats and the Senate was 33-17.  Democrats also held four of the state's nine House seats.

Republicans won in 2010.  It's now 70 seats in the Indiana House, 41 in the Indiana Senate, and seven U.S. House seats for the GOP.  Elections, they have consequences.

Let's hope as time goes on that those consequences are lessened.  The push can continue for fair redistricting done in a non-partisan manner.

It looked like redistricting was going to change in this state this past General Assembly session, but the bill was shut down by the GOP in the committee hearing process.  It's time to force a vote and to let your legislators know what you want.  Be vocal.

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