E-mail from Indiana Secretary of State, Todd Rokita:
Take action: Redistricting reform legislation moves to Indiana House
Last week, the Indiana Senate passed redistricting reform legislation that would establish guidelines for the legislative redistricting process following the census in 2011. The Senate also passed legislation that would establish a redistricting study committee to examine best practices from other states, including the practice of an independent commission to draw the maps.
The legislation passed in the Senate would require the new legislative maps to respect county and township lines, preserve traditional neighborhoods and communities of interest, protect minority voting rights and create simple, compact districts. The legislation does not include Secretary Rokita’s recommendations for prohibiting the use of partisan data, including incumbent addresses, or implementing nesting, the idea that each Senate district would encompass two House districts.
As this legislation moves to the Indiana House, we need to focus our efforts on convincing the House leadership to take up this legislation. Previously in this session, Republicans in the House introduced House Bill 1013. Disappointingly, this bill did not move forward, as it was assigned by Speaker Bauer to the House Committee on Rules and Legislative Procedures and never received a hearing. We need Speaker Bauer, his Democratic caucus, and all members of the House to consider additional criteria recommended by Secretary Rokita’s office, including prohibiting the use of incumbent addresses or vote history, and implementing nesting.
We need to seize this opportunity to capitalize on the bipartisan leadership displayed in the Indiana Senate and cement the most meaningful and lasting redistricting reform possible. Contact your representatives in the Indiana House and tell them that you want redistricting reform legislation to be heard. Write to them through our web site. Make your voice heard!