Indiana House Democrats presented their own redistricting maps Thursday as a counterpoint to the maps released by Republicans Monday.
Democrats say their map includes 26 districts they consider competitive. That’s compared to 24 districts considered competitive in the current maps and only 14 competitive districts in the Republican map.
Indianapolis Representative Ed DeLaney said even though Republican maps may look more simplified, it doesn’t mean they were drawn without political interests in mind.
“Gerrymandering is not determined by shape,” he said. “Gerrymandering is determined by the politics behind it, and you need to look at it.”
Democrats built the maps using townships as a building block, trying to keep townships together whenever possible. But Indiana Citizens Redistricting Commission co-chair and former state representative Bill Ruppel said using that standard hurts rural voters.
“Sometimes,” he said, “in the large city areas you might want to use townships and precincts, but in the rural areas, I think you’ve got to learn to keep counties together so it doesn’t dilute the rural vote.”
The House elections committee will continue to consider the redistricting issue Friday.