Some groups are hopeful Indiana will follow the lead of its neighbor and take steps to prevent gerrymandering. Ohio voters this month approved changes to the way its legislative districts are drawn, and a study committee in Indiana is examining what can be done here. Debbie Asberry, a board member of the League of Women Voters, said districts in Indiana currently are established in a way that can favor one political party over another. “The party in power usually draws the line to support their incumbent, to minimize competition or to eliminate competition,” she said. “The basic underlying issue is that it is a structural impediment to our democratic process.”
The study commission is considering whether to create an independent commission to draw the lines, removing the process from the hands of any one political group. Similar commissions are set up in Arizona, California and, soon, in Ohio.
In Indiana’s 2014 midterm elections, there were 44 uncontested races in the House and 25 in the Senate. Asberry said good candidates are not stepping up to run for office, and voters are not turning out because they feel the cards are stacked against them.