Indiana governor signs GOP's contentious redistricting plan

Eric Holcomb

Indiana’s governor gave his approval Monday to the Republican redrawing of the state’s congressional and legislative districts that critics argued gives the party an election advantage for the next decade.

Posted: Oct 5, 2021 8:50 AM

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana’s governor gave his approval Monday to the Republican redrawing of the state’s congressional and legislative districts that critics argued gives the party an election advantage for the next decade.

Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb's signature was the final step in the redistricting for Indiana’s nine congressional seats and 150 seats in the state Legislature that were drawn by Republican leaders behind closed doors and adopted Friday in the Legislature without any support from Democrats.

The maps faced intense criticism as diluting the influence of minority and urban voters in favor of white voters living in rural areas to bolster the election prospects for Republicans. That came after the 2020 census found that the state’s white and rural populations both shrank over the past 10 years.

Holcomb said in a statement he believed that legislators completed the redistricting work in “an orderly and transparent way."

Political analysts say the new maps that will be used through the 2030 elections protect the Republican dominance that has boosted them to a 7-2 majority of Indiana’s U.S. House seats and commanding majorities in the state Legislature. Critics argued the process was rushed as Republicans pushed for Friday’s final votes just 17 days after the release of their congressional and Indiana House maps — and 10 days after the state Senate maps became public.

Opponents of the Republican plan pointed to Donald Trump winning Indiana with 57% of the presidential vote last year as Republicans captured 71 of the 100 Indiana House seats and 39 of the 50 state Senate seats.

House Democratic Leader Phil GiaQuinta of Fort Wayne called the new maps the result of a “partisan process” that resulted in gerrymandered districts drawn to help Republicans win elections. Republicans rebuffed calls from Democrats and voting-rights groups for Indiana to join other states with an independent commission to draw up new election districts.

“Throughout the redistricting process, countless Hoosiers voiced the ideal that voters should choose their representation, not the other way around,” GiaQuinta said. “Unfortunately, Republicans put political gain before democracy as they struck down our proposal to restore integrity to Indiana’s elections.”

The 2020 census found that while Indiana grew 4.7% to about 6.8 million residents over the past decade. Indianapolis and its surrounding counties saw three-quarters of Indiana’s population growth, while 49 of the state’s 92 counties lost residents.

Fewer people in Indiana identified as white, as the state’s share of white population fell from 81.5% in 2010 to 75.5% in 2020. Minority populations grew, with the Black population’s share up from 9.0% in 2010 to 9.4% in 2020 and the Hispanic share increasing from 6.0% to 8.2% over the decade.

Republicans maintained they followed federal and state laws to match Indiana’s population shifts while avoiding splitting counties and cities between multiple districts as much as possible.

Democrats and civil rights groups countered by pointing to the shifting of increasingly diverse parts of Indianapolis from the congressional district narrowly won last year by Republican U.S. Rep. Victoria Spartz into the solidly Democratic district held by Rep. Andre Carson.

Objections were also raised about the fragmenting of Fort Wayne’s large Black and Latino communities among three likely Republican state Senate districts that will have rural white voters making up the majorities and making similar splits in the urban areas of Evansville and Lafayette-West Lafayette.

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Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1118335

Reported Deaths: 17712
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1455892240
Lake724831254
Allen67063882
Hamilton51060487
St. Joseph49820649
Elkhart40268546
Vanderburgh34714497
Tippecanoe30808276
Johnson27696467
Hendricks26313385
Porter25657386
Madison21131455
Clark20238279
Vigo19059309
LaPorte17192261
Howard16770314
Delaware16761303
Monroe16628220
Kosciusko14293167
Hancock13113186
Bartholomew12983190
Warrick12210190
Wayne12090269
Floyd12011226
Grant11998245
Morgan10409192
Boone9869124
Noble9316122
Henry9177169
Marshall9152147
Dearborn8970100
Dubois8835140
Shelby8281130
Cass8167128
Lawrence8057185
DeKalb7817109
Jackson770793
Huntington7661115
Gibson7102118
Montgomery7101123
Harrison6954100
Knox6915116
Steuben669089
Whitley659660
Miami6595113
Putnam645085
Clinton627179
Wabash6221111
Jasper613192
Jefferson5856105
Ripley557294
Adams542281
Daviess5076117
Scott491580
Wells4836105
White478469
Greene4701101
Clay464662
Decatur4611110
Fayette452496
Jennings452067
LaGrange427491
Posey410044
Randolph3944107
Washington390956
Fountain375964
Fulton364874
Spencer362247
Starke355574
Owen353577
Sullivan348555
Orange331372
Jay331050
Rush309533
Carroll296239
Franklin292744
Perry290553
Vermillion283658
Tipton251167
Parke250130
Pike248644
Blackford222144
Pulaski210359
Newton182452
Brown177550
Crawford169129
Benton168417
Martin152120
Switzerland147612
Warren135816
Union122616
Ohio92413
Unassigned0595

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