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Elections & Politics

Lawmakers Set To Unveil State House And Congressional District Maps

(Brandon Smith/IPB News)

Hoosiers will get their first look Tuesday at the state’s political future for the next decade as state lawmakers unveil state House and Congressional district maps, the first step in redistricting.

And those maps – which determine the state representative and member of Congress for every Hoosier – can be vitally important.

Laura Wilson, University of Indianapolis associate professor of political science, said the district maps can affect a lot more than just who your state representative is. It can dramatically influence what policies the state pursues. And she said it can have a big effect on elections.

“Where money goes, how good candidates are, how competitive it is, whether or not people get excited about races and elections in any particular district,” Wilson said.

READ MORE: Redistricting 101: Who Draws Indiana’s Legislative District Maps, And How

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Citizens have been more engaged in redistricting this year, showing up to rallies and voicing their opinions. But many are skeptical whether that will change the outcome – Republicans control the legislature and, thus, redistricting. And many expect them to draw maps that will, first and foremost, benefit their party.

Wilson said even if that’s the outcome, people’s attention matters.

“The fact that maybe people who were unfamiliar with the process before – they didn’t feel connected, they didn’t have a great sense of it – now they recognize what’s going on,” Wilson said. 

State lawmakers will formally approve all the new district lines over the next few weeks.

Contact reporter Brandon at bsmith@ipbs.org or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.