Letter: New redistricting commission best fix

From: Joanne Durbin


House Bill 1014, which would create a redistricting commission, did not move out of committee Feb. 15. House Elections and Apportionment Committee Chairman Milo Smith, R-Columbus, held the bill in committee after hours of testimony of support and one commenter who opposed.

There were so many supporters for the bill that the hearing had to be moved to the House chamber. Common Cause Indiana, the League of Women Voters, the Indiana Chamber of Commerce all had expressed their support. Speaker Brian Bosma, co-sponsor of the bill, was not in the chamber and did not speak in support of his own bill.

Indiana is likely to face a legal challenge in the federal courts, defended by the taxpayers’ dollars, because the legislative committee refused to act in the interests of all the state’s residents. They guaranteed that lawmakers will continue to choose their voters instead of the voters choosing their representatives.

Despite the recommendations of experts on the legislative study committee chaired by Rep. Jerry Torr, R-Carmel, tasked with formulating a report supporting the bill’s components, the bill never came out to the House for debate.

What a sad day for Indiana. Forty-four uncontested House seats and 10 uncontested Senate seats will mean that voters in those districts will have no voice in the next general election. And they wonder why our turnouts are the worst in the country.