Indianapolis, IN — Today, Common Cause Indiana, All IN for Democracy, the Indiana State Conference of the NAACP, and Women4Change demanded Indiana state leaders immediately disclose details of the Republican political consultant they hired to oversee the state’s redistricting process at a press conference at the Indiana Statehouse. The leaders highlighted the significant conflict of interest a political hire poses for redistricting, a process that should not unfairly favor one political party.
“Hiring a political consultant to guide a process meant to provide free and fair elections for every Hoosier is deeply concerning,” said Julia Vaughn, Executive Director of Common Cause Indiana. “Putting a political operative in charge of redistricting and sticking taxpayers with the bill is the last thing we need. We deserve to know exactly why and how state leaders have hired a partisan political consultant to influence the business of our state.”
The pro-democracy organization leaders also underscored the lack of opportunities for robust public debate and citizen participation in this year’s redistricting process. Hoosiers will have just three days to participate in a democratic process that will impact elections for the next decade. State leaders have yet to announce any public hearings for citizens to review the proposed maps before they are approved.
“Redistricting will impact our elections for the next decade and Hoosiers deserve more than three days to have a say in the process,” said Christopher Harris, Independent Party member of the Indiana Citizens Redistricting Commission. “Three days of public hearings is not enough time for citizens to participate in this important democratic process. State leaders must provide many more opportunities for citizens to have a say in the coming weeks.”
“Our democracy belongs to the people, not the politicians,” said Barbara Bolling Williams, Indiana State Conference of the NAACP. “We deserve to have as many opportunities as possible to participate in redistricting. The people of Indiana want fair maps, not partisan or racial gerrymandered maps and we demand more time to have a say in this process.”
On August 5, The Indiana Citizen reported that the Indiana General Assembly hired Jason Torchinsky, a partisan political operative, to serve as an advisor in guiding the state’s redistricting work.
On July 26, the Indiana General Assembly announced eight public hearings on redistricting to take place over a span of three days; August 6,7, and 11. The current schedule makes it particularly difficult for seniors, the disabled, working families, students without cars, and many others to participate, especially with only two weeks of notice.
Since 2015, All IN for Democracy has advocated for a redistricting process that transfers power from the
To view All IN for Democracy’s 2021 Redistricting Report, click here.