No Senate incumbents are drawn together in the new maps, though changes have been made to some districts. Republicans say making districts more compact and drawing together communities of general interest are two of their biggest considerations. Anderson Senator Tim Lanane, the ranking minority member on the committee, says he doesn’t agree:
“On the compactness factor, some of those districts look pretty spread out and the lines seem to wander somewhat.” said Lanane.
Lanane’s is one of the most changed, with the district now stretching from Anderson to Muncie. Previously, the district was contained completely in Madison County. Julie Vaughn is the policy director for Common Cause Indiana, a nonpartisan citizen’s lobbying organization. She says she thinks the Senate maps accomplished one goal:
“Definitely the Senate has succeeded in creating both congressional and state legislative districts that improve the compactness criteria.” said Vaughn.
But Vaughn says politically competitive districts are also very important, and it remains to be seen if the new Senate districts fulfill that goal. The committee will hear public testimony Wednesday before advancing the maps to the full Senate.