INDIANAPOLIS—On Friday, the redistricting proposal, House Bill 158, was approved out of the Senate with a vote of 36-12. Senate Assistant Democratic Leader Eddie Melton (D-Gary) released the following statement following the Senate’s adoption of the gerrymandered district maps:
“The redistricting process that we just experienced and the district maps that the supermajority approved today are not what Hoosiers asked for,” Sen. Melton said. “Residents across the state repeatedly asked for transparency and involvement. We didn’t have that. The supermajority held one round of hearings before population data and district maps were even released—hearings where they did not answer Hoosier questions and, clearly, did not listen to Hoosier requests to keep communities of interest together.
“I’m very disappointed by the partisan nature of the redistricting process as well as the actions by the supermajority to deliberately dilute minority voices. In Northwest Indiana, two of my colleagues were drawn into the same district, and in West Lafayette and Lafayette, communities of interest were inexplicably split up. The supermajority’s intent to secure complete political control by drowning out certain voices seems clear from their actions, and it’s truly a disservice to our residents.
“We could have done better for Hoosiers, for Indiana and for our democracy. We could have approved fair maps that kept communities of interest together. We could have addressed every concern that Hoosiers had with the district maps and made it clear that their voices were actually heard during the hearings that the supermajority has repeatedly touted. We could have shown Hoosiers and the nation that Indiana is capable of putting the needs and will of our residents above selfish, partisan desires. Instead, the supermajority chose to ensure their own political control for the next ten years, and Hoosiers will suffer the price.”