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Lawmakers Announce Statewide Hearings For Redistricting Feedback

(Brandon Smith/IPB News)

Hoosier lawmakers will host meetings across the state in early August to solicit public feedback on the state’s redistricting process, although no proposed new maps will be available by then.

The U.S. Constitution requires states redraw district lines for the U.S. House of Representatives, state senates and state houses of representatives, by using population data collected in the decennial census.  

The meetings, in each of the state’s nine congressional districts, will be grouped geographically. The meetings will be held on Aug. 6, 7 and 11:

  • North – Friday, Aug. 6 and Saturday, Aug. 7 at the following Ivy Tech campuses:
    Lafayette: 10 a.m. to noon Friday, Aug. 6  
    Valparaiso: 3-5 p.m. CDT Friday, Aug. 6 
     
    Fort Wayne: 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, Aug. 7
     
    Elkhart: 4-6 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 7 
     
  • South – Friday, Aug. 6 and Saturday, Aug. 7 at the following Ivy Tech campuses:
    Anderson: 10 a.m. to noon Friday, Aug. 6 
    Columbus: 4-6 p.m. Friday, Aug. 6 
     
    Evansville: 9-11 a.m. CDT Saturday, Aug. 7 
     
    Sellersburg: 4-6 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 7
  • Central – Wednesday, Aug. 11 at the Statehouse:

    Indianapolis: 1-3 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 11 in the House Chamber at the Indiana Statehouse 

Rep. Tim Wesco (R-Osceola) will run the meetings in the north part of the state. Sen. Jon Ford (R-Terre Haute) will run the southern meetings.  

Wesco chairs the House Committee on Elections and Apportionment, while Ford chairs the same committee in the Senate. Both Wesco and Ford are expected to head the meeting in Indianapolis together. 

“Public input on redistricting is extremely important to the map-drawing process,” Ford said in a news release. “We look forward to hearing from Hoosiers from all over Indiana during these meetings.” 

Those in attendance likely won’t be looking at new maps, though. 

The coronavirus pandemic delayed collection of census data, and the Census Bureau says they’ll be available by Aug. 16. Maps are not expected until early September – well after the hearings.

Activists have called for the public have at least a month to review proposed district maps before they are finalized, but Republican legislative leaders have not agreed. The state will launch a web page in late August to allow Hoosiers to draw and submit their own maps for consideration. 

State Democratic Party Chairman Mike Schmuhl said Democrats will fight against gerrymandered maps that continue an “imbalance in our government.”

Those who are unable to attend the meetings will be able to livestream them on the General Assembly website.

This story has been updated with contributions from the Associated Press.

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