Draw the Line Indiana is a grassroots effort to give Indiana voters a say in how new Congressional and state legislative districts are drawn in 2011 and into the future. Common Cause/Indiana and the League of Women Voters are the primary groups involved; AARP Indiana and the Downs Center for Indiana Politics at IPFW are providing valuable assistance. The idea is to educate citizens about the redistricting process, why it is important and help them get involved in the 2011 discussion about what new Congressional and state legislative districts should look like.
Draw the Line Indiana has assembled the Indiana Citizens Redistricting Commission, an 11 member group representative of Indiana voters. The ICRC members come from a diverse array of backgrounds and political viewpoints and include Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians, Independents and the Tea Party. They all agree that for too long redistricting has focused on partisan political interests and because of that, voters in Indiana have fewer choices and less accountable elected officials.
The ICRC will sponsor public meetings in cities across the state to educate citizens about the redistricting process and solicit public input on the new maps proposed by the General Assembly.
The ICRC will encourage a statewide discussion about what criteria should guide the map making process. Instead of districts that protect incumbent politicians and partisan interests, the ICRC will promote public interest criteria such as compactness, respect for minority voting rights, competition and protection of communities of interest.
After the public hearings are concluded, the ICRC will draw new Congressional and state legislative district maps, based on the public testimony received. These maps will be submitted to the General Assembly with the request that they be considered as public interest alternatives to the legislature’s maps.
In addition to impacting the maps drawn by the Indiana General Assembly in 2011, the ICRC will also demonstrate how the redistricting process can work when it is no longer the responsibility of partisan politicians.
Draw the Line Indiana is an effort to inform and engage the public in the redistricting process.
For more information, contact:
Julia Vaughn, Common Cause/Indiana – 317-925-5780 or jvaughngyure07(at)yahoo.com