(Indianapolis, Ind.) - Voters are not happy with the speed at which new legislative districts are being drawn up at the Indiana Statehouse.
At a hearing on the issue Wednesday, residents expressed their frustration.
“I want more time to figure this out. I want to be a good voter,” said Robin Olds, of Indianapolis.
Lawmakers are likely to approve the new maps this month. They were revealed just three days ago, and some are complaining it appears to be a Republican attempt to get rid of experienced Democrat incumbents.
Democrats brought the argument that the maps lopsidedly favor Republicans. Their review of the proposed maps found that 14 of the proposed House districts are neither heavily Republican or Democrat, down from 24 now.
Also, 10 of the 12 new districts drawn into the proposal are heavily Republican.
The proposals have brought some praise from advocates seeking legislative boundaries which are more compact and keep communities in the same district.
"It's not my focus to know what the political makeups of the districts are," said House Speaker Brian Bosma (R-Indianapolis). "Our focus is to drawn commonsense districts.”
Watchdog groups want an independent body to take care of drawing up the new maps after the 2020 Census.
“It is to be expected that legislators will draw districts to enhance their chances of re-election. We think that needs to end,” Julia Vaughn of Common Cause, part of the Indiana Citizens Redistricting Commission, said during the hearing.
“Voters should choose their legislators. Legislators should not choose their voters,” said Paulette Vandergriff of the League of Women Voters.
A final redistricting plan must be approved by the legislature before the regular 2011 session ends April 29. The maps head to committees in the House and Senate on Thursday and Friday.