As an Indiana special interim study committee on redistricting gets ready to meet this summer, a United States Supreme Court decision paved the way for an independent Indiana redistricting committee to become a reality. The Supreme Court ruling stated redistricting commissions independent of a state legislature were constitutional. Sen. Tim Lanane, D-Anderson, said he hopes the study committee will take a close look at creating a commission here in Indiana that will “take politics out of the redistricting process.” Typically, district boundaries are drawn every 10 years by the state legislature. Boundaries have to be redrawn in order to keep populations similar in each district. The party in control ultimately gets to decide where the lines go, which can lead to gerrymandered districts.
Lanane, leader of the Senate Democrats, who constitute a super minority, has been advocating for changes to the redistricting process. “The end goal of the redistricting process should not be to benefit one party or the other,” Lanane said. “Rather, the goal of redistricting should be to create more competitive democratic elections and restore the confidence of Hoosiers and the integrity of the electoral process.”
The commission will be tasked with looking at possible ways to improve Indiana’s redistricting process. Lanane said some states, including Iowa and Arizona, where the lawsuit the Supreme Court just ruled on originated, have adopted independent committees to handle all redistricting.