Controversial redistricting map likely sets Republican control of Indiana Senate for another decade


State Sen. Eric Koch speaks during a news conference at the Statehouse, Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2021, in Indianapolis. The proposal for the new Senate election districts released Tuesday comes as the Republican-dominated Legislature intends to give final approval by the end of next week for all of Indiana’s congressional and legislative seats.(AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A Republican-drawn redistricting plan for Indiana’s state Senate appears set to secure the party’s control of the chamber for another decade despite state democrats accusing the map as gerrymandering.

The proposal for the new Senate election districts released Tuesday comes as the Republican-dominated Legislature intends to give final approval by the end of next week for all of Indiana’s congressional and legislative seats.

The redistricting based on population shifts from the 2020 census creates one new likely Democratic Senate seat in Indianapolis as most rural counties across the state lost population and the Indianapolis area added residents.

But no significant shifts look likely from the current 39-11 Republican supermajority in the state Senate, which allows Republicans to approve proposals without any Democrats being present. Republicans have had continuous majority control of the Senate since the 1978 elections.

Republican Senate leaders said the new maps keep more counties in a single district while accounting for the shift in population from rural areas. The Indiana Democratic Party, however, stated the map prioritized politicians instead of creating a fair and balanced map.

An Indiana House committee on Monday endorsed on party lines Republican plans for new congressional and Indiana House districts lasting until the 2030 elections that political analysts say protects GOP dominance.

The Indiana Democratic Party released the following statement in response to the Republicans redistricting map:

“Indiana Republicans have once again manipulated our Hoosier democracy in this year’s redistricting period. Over the summer, they held shadow hearings that felt more like a comment box, promised a process that would be ‘fair’ and transparent’, and when it mattered most, manipulated the system once again to favor themselves over Hoosier voters. The Republicans’ new Indiana Senate map keeps in place a broken system where self-serving politicians benefit at the expense of Indiana families. These maps were drawn unfairly, without transparency, and are gerrymandered in a way that checks the boxes of the high-priced, Washington, D.C. Republican consultant the Indiana GOP hired to solidify this partisan process. 

In the months and years ahead, Indiana Democrats will continue to work overtime to deliver a brighter future for all Hoosiers where voting rights are expanded, workers make a livable wage to provide for their families, our public schools and teachers become some of the best in the country, and every Hoosier feels as though they belong. Our Party is big, bold, and welcoming, and we look forward to offering Hoosier voters a better path forward in the elections ahead.”

Mike Schmuhl, Chairman of the Indiana Democratic Party

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