INDIANAPOLIS — House Republicans released new proposed district lines Tuesday before next week’s confirmation vote but didn’t comment on changes or discuss their mapping process.
The congressional maps for Indiana show the same 7-2 split between Republicans and Democrats, with the 1st District, a Democratic stronghold in northwestern Indiana intact. Under the new map, Indiana’s 7th District would cover the northern two-thirds of Marion County, with reliably Democratic voters, and would distribute the lower third to District 6.
The new lines protect the 5th District’s Republican slant, which used to include northern Marion County, where first-term Rep. Victoria Spartz eked out a narrow win over Democrat Christina Hale in 2020. The district still includes Anderson and all of Kokomo, the latter of which was previously split between the 4th and 5th districts.
The districts with the biggest changes are the 6th and 9th, which, respectively, shrank and swelled in size. By gaining southern Marion County, the 6th District lost all of its southeastern counties, including those along the Ohio River, which the 9th District absorbed. Residents south of Fayette, Rush and Union counties now belong to the 9th District.
Contrary to 2011 and 2001, mapmakers declined to make themselves available for a news conference, only releasing statements and not articulating their decisions made in private. Since Republicans have the supermajority in each chamber, Democrats had no say in the process.
In previous years, mapmakers released information about the number of incumbents in each district and whether any new districts had no sitting representatives. Republicans did share that the proposed maps decrease the number of counties and townships split across districts for both Indiana House and congressional districts.
Rep. Greg Steuerwald, R-Avon, took a holistic approach to keep communities of interest together, according to a statement by House Speaker Todd Huston, R-Fishers.
“These maps follow all statutory and constitutional requirements and reflect the population trends over the last 10 year,” Huston said.
Steuerwald carries the bill for House Republicans. The House Elections and Apportionment committee will meet Wednesday and Thursday in Indianapolis to hear testimony.
The Senate input is unclear, as the maps are drawn behind closed doors, but Sen. Eric Koch, R-Bedford, said in a statement he had “been pleased with the high level of collaboration between the House and the Senate.”
“I look forward to continued conversations with members of the public and other legislators on this proposal as we move forward.”
The Indiana Democratic Party criticized the GOP for not following through on its promise of a fair and transparent process, accusing mapmakers of manipulating the system to “favor themselves over Hoosier voters.”
“The Republicans’ new Indiana House and congressional maps keep in place a broken system where self-serving politicians benefit at the expense of Indiana families,” Chair Mike Schmuhl said in a statement. “These maps were drawn unfairly (and) without transparency.”