INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana General Assembly is underway and Senate Democratic Leader Tim Lanane (D-Anderson) has authored a number of initiatives, focusing on independent, non-partisan redistricting and same day voter registration.

Redistricting commission

Currently, state lawmakers are responsible for drawing legislative districts every 10 years after the completion of the U.S. Census. Senate Bill (SB) 77 would establish an independent redistricting commission to create, hold hearings on, take public comment about, and recommend plans to redraw lines for the General Assembly districts and congressional districts.

“By placing this duty in the hands of an independent commission, I believe it would preserve the integrity of legislative elections and ensure fairness and competitiveness,” Sen. Lanane said.

The proposal would require the Legislative Services Agency to provide staff and administrative services to the commission. SB 77 is based on a bipartisan recommendation from a 2016 legislative study committee.

Same day voter registration

Indiana residents currently have to register to vote 29 days prior to an election. As of October 2017, 15 states and the District of Columbia permit same day voter registration, which allows qualified residents to register to vote when they visit the polls on Election Day.

“Indiana has a history of significantly low voter turnout and my bill may open doors for more Hoosiers to show up to the polls on Election Day,” Sen. Lanane said.

SB 287 would allow residents to register when they visit the polls, as opposed to registering by an earlier deadline.

Committee Assignments

Sen. Lanane will represent his constituents by serving as the Ranking Minority Member of the following Senate committees: Elections, Family and Children Services, Public Policy, and Rules and Legislative Procedure. Sen. Lanane will also serve as a member on the following Senate committees: Commerce and Technology, Corrections and Criminal Law, Joint Rules, Judiciary and Utilities. Additionally, Sen. Lanane also serves as the Vice Chair of the Ethics Committee.