Indiana’s Redistricting Maps Failed Hoosiers and Young Voters
Indiana recently signed its redistricting plan into law following the 2020 U.S. Census. Rachel shares her own opinion on what this will mean for Hoosiers and young voters.
By Blue Future Youth Contributor, Rachel Lipofsky
Gov. Eric Holcomb signed GOP’s redistricting plan for Indiana’s nine congressional districts and 150 seats in the state Legislature on October 4, 2021 according to the Associated Press. The election district maps have been criticized by many Hoosiers — namely Democratic politicians and civil rights groups — arguing that this will skew elections toward Republican candidates for the coming decade.
Like many others, hearing the news about Indiana’s proposed Congressional map in HB 1581 was a bit of a disappointment for me, to say the least.
As a Hoosier myself, I was expecting the process to be more transparent and more collaborative between both parties. However, the bill was passed by only Republicans and had no Democratic support.
With this said, I don’t think this bill has only failed Democratic and left-leaning Hoosiers, but rather all Hoosiers.
Indiana has already seen lower voter turnout rates — ranked among the bottom 15 states — in presidential elections for the past eight years.
A multitude of different factors contributed to this decline. It could be said that one reason many opt out of voting is because they feel as if their votes don’t matter.
Now, this redistricting plan will amplify this general feeling and lack of confidence in voting.
The lack of transparency and decreased voting participation will now make Indiana elections less competitive for the next 10 years. This bill not only affects the fairness of our political process, but also the level of engagement of young voters.
For youth voters who want to get involved with the redistricting process, having significant knowledge of how these maps get drawn is not needed. Getting involved by sitting in at your state’s public redistricting meetings, contacting your congressional representative, or volunteering with a redistricting reform organization are just some of the ways that you can learn about this issue and voice your concerns for it.
Ultimately, if we want more democratic and equitable elections, Indiana politicians must set partisanship aside and create Congressional maps that best represent their constituents’ interests — including youth voters. It’s unfortunate that Gov. Holcomb signed HB 1581 into law without taking Hoosiers’ concerns for this plan into account.
Until 2030, Hoosiers are stuck with redistricting maps that don’t represent the values of all Hoosiers, as it seems to only benefit the Indiana GOP.
About Rachel: Rachel (she/her) is a graduate of Indiana University. She previously was a copy editor for her university’s student-run paper, and is excited to continue her work in writing about current policy issues.