Indiana adopts new congressional, legislative district boundaries

Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb (R) signed new congressional and state legislative district maps into law on Oct. 4, 2021. The Indiana General Assembly approved the new maps on Oct. 1.

The Indiana state Senate approved the final congressional and legislative district boundaries on Oct. 1 by a vote of 36-12, with all votes to approve coming from Republicans. Eleven Senate Democrats joined State Sen. Ron Grooms (R) in voting against the maps. On the same day, the Indiana House of Representatives approved the final district maps by a vote of 64-25. All votes in favor were by Republicans with 22 Democrats and three Republicans voting against.

The Indiana House Republican caucus released the first draft of congressional and state House district boundaries on September 14, 2021. The Indiana Senate Republican caucus released the first draft of proposed state Senate districts on September 20, 2021. The full legislative history of Indiana’s redistricting proposals, including House and Senate committee reports and proposed amendments, can be found here at the Indiana General Assembly’s website. 

In a statement issued after signing the state’s new district boundaries, Gov. Holcomb said, “Today I signed HB 1581, completing this once-in-a-decade constitutionally required process. I want to thank both the House and Senate for faithfully following through in an orderly and transparent way. And, a special thanks to every Hoosier who participated in the process by sharing their local perspective and input.” 

Kaitlin Lange of the Indianapolis Star wrote that the “congressional map also likely will enable Republicans to keep seven of the nine congressional seats in Indiana and make the 5th District, which contains suburban Hamilton County, a more reliably Republican district.”

Senate President Pro Tem Rodric Bray (R) said of the maps, “We have said all along that we were committed to drawing fair maps in a transparent way, and I believe we have done that. We prioritized keeping communities of interest together and drawing districts that make sense for the Hoosiers who live there while maintaining nearly equal populations in each district. I believe these maps reflect feedback from the public and will serve Hoosiers well for the next decade.”

State Sen. Eddie Melton (D) said, “I’m very disappointed by the partisan nature of the redistricting process as well as the actions by the supermajority to deliberately dilute minority voices. In Northwest Indiana, two of my colleagues were drawn into the same district, and in West Lafayette and Lafayette, communities of interest were inexplicably split up. The supermajority’s intent to secure complete political control by drowning out certain voices seems clear from their actions, and it’s truly a disservice to our residents.”

All three maps take effect for Indiana’s 2022 congressional and legislative elections.

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Dave Beaudoin

Dave Beaudoin is a staff writer at Ballotpedia. Contact us at editor@ballotpedia.org.