Facing a ticking clock for changing how Indiana draws its congressional and legislative districts, activists recently turned out at the Statehouse to advocate for redistricting reform.

But will their message be heard by Republican lawmakers enjoying a supermajority that the status quo has helped them maintain?

Not likely. Over the years legislators (of both parties) have been loathe to change a system that gives them an advantage. Under the current system, the legislature is responsible for drawing its own legislative and congressional districts. This has resulted in maps that make it easy for incumbents to get re-elected and nearly impossible for challengers to be competitive.

During last year’s legislative session, Indiana lawmakers passed on another opportunity to establish an independent redistricting commission. Six bills addressing redistricting reform were filed; one narrowly passed the Indiana Senate but was never called for a hearing in the House.

Critics of how Hoosier lawmakers carve up congressional and legislative districts know they are running out of time for changing that process with the once-a-decade U.S. census less than three months away. It was after the 2010 census, when Republicans gained complete control over redrawing the legislative and congressional maps, that they achieved full-supermajority command of the legislature.

At the recent Statehouse visit by activists, about a dozen legislators, most of them Democrats, signed a pledge from Common Cause Indiana supporting politically impartial redistricting standards. Republican Sen. John Ruckelshaus of Indianapolis, who also signed, announced a bill he’s sponsoring to create a state website where the public can draw suggested maps and submit comments before the legislature votes on new districts in 2021.

Indiana sorely needs an independent commission to move redistricting out of the legislature, away from the political party in power. Other states have gone this route — including Michigan, which in 2018, passed Proposal 18-2, amending the state constitution and creating a citizen commission that will redraw the congressional district lines every 10 years.

Hoosiers don’t have the option of taking such initiatives to the ballot, which is the route Michigan took.

The current legislative session is the last chance to reform redistricting before new maps for Congress and state legislature are drawn in 2021. It will likely be another missed opportunity to create a more open process that is fair to all Hoosiers.

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