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New Group Will Push For Non-Partisan Redistricting

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https://www.govtrack.us/congress/members/IN
/

Indiana’s voter turnout in the last election was the lowest in its history and the worst in the country.  Common Cause Indiana’s Julia Vaughn says that’s in part because voters don’t have enough choices, noting that 44 out of the 100 state Representatives ran unopposed.

“A lot of people are waking up that redistricting reform is something that we need to do here in Indiana to really revive our democracy, breathe some life back into it,” Vaughn says.

Vaughn says that’s why Common Cause and the League of Women Voters joined to form a coalition pushing lawmakers to take redistricting out of legislative hands as much as possible. 

The General Assembly is constitutionally required to approve new legislative maps every decade.  But Vaughn says a system in which an independent commission does the bulk of the work could satisfy that requirement.

“This commission would simply be drawing the lines," she says.  "Under any scenario, they’re handed to the legislature and they would vote them up or down.”

Groups including ACLU Indiana, the Hoosier Environmental Council, NAACP Indiana and the Indiana Farmers Union have joined the coalition. 

Brandon Smith is excited to be working for public radio in Indiana. He has previously worked in public radio as a reporter and anchor in mid-Missouri for KBIA Radio out of Columbia. Prior to that, he worked for WSPY Radio in Plano, Illinois as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. His first job in radio was in another state capitol, in Jefferson City, Missouri, as a reporter for three radio stations around Missouri. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.