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Redistricting plan would affect Crawford

Part would move to U.S. Eighth Congressional District; entire county would shift to 74th State House District

April 20, 2011
Some Southern Indiana counties would see few major changes in legislative districts proposed by the Indiana House and Senate Republicans. But in Crawford County, as well as further north, changes could be significant, especially in state and federal House districts.

Current Congressional Districts Passed in 2001 Maps courtesy State of Indiana website
The job of redistricting is the responsibility of the Indiana General Assembly once every 10 years, after the census is conducted. Congressional district lines, as well as those of the Indiana House and Senate, must be redrawn.

Redistricting is the process of dividing the state into a given number of districts based on its population. Indiana has nine Congressional seats. In addition, the 100 house districts and 50 senate districts in the Indiana General Assembly are redrawn based on the new population counts by the decennial census. By law, the districts must be of approximate equal population.

Congressional Districts Proposed By Indiana Republicans
In some counties, like Harrison, Clark and Floyd, voters would see few changes in their legislative districts. But in other areas, like Indiana House District 73, represented by Rep. Steve Davisson, R-Salem, there would be major changes. The district now includes parts, or all, of eight counties but would be reduced to six. Crawford County would be taken out of the district. Parts of Perry and Dubois counties would also be lost. The district would hold on to most of Washington and parts of Orange, Harrison, Clark, Jackson and Lawrence counties. Crawford County would be part of District 74, represented by Sue Ellspermann, R-Ferdinand.

Congressional Districts Proposed By Indiana Senate Democrats
There would be few changes in House District 70, represented by Rhonda Rhoads, R-Corydon, or Districts 71 and 72, represented by Steve Stemler, D-Jeffersonville, and Ed Clair, R-New Albany, respectively.

But in the Indiana Senate, District 47, represented by Sen. Richard Young, D-Milltown, is one that would see some changes. All of Orange and Spencer counties and much of Washington County would be lost, but Crawford, Harrison and Perry would stay in District 47, along with Warrick and more of Dubois County.

"Well, I really don't have any control of that," Young said Monday. "We (Democrats) aren't in the majority, so the other party will do it. In the past, we have had a little more impact, but we only have 13 members now, so we have to accept what they give us."

Young said if there was strong disagreement from the Democrats, they could ask the courts to intervene.

"But if they act within what is proper — what is allowed — there's not much we can say," Young continued. "There may be some challenges in other areas. This is my third redistricting, and there are always changes. But there may be a little more this time.

"In my district, I'll have some changes, like what I represent in Dubois County — Ferdinand, Birdseye — and the eastern part of the county. It will be a more compact district than I had. Actually, I'll have fewer parts of counties. I liked the district I had. I've had it for 20 years. People knew who I was and I knew a lot of the people in the district, and I'm familiar with the community leaders. Now, there will be new people to meet and get to know. But I don't expect any great difficulties."

Young said that, in the redistricting of the Indiana House districts, he wasn't sure if Democrats will accept the changes.

"We'll see if the Republicans are over-reaching. If so, we may see another walk-out. There will probably be some massive changes in the House districts. I don't know if even some Republicans will like the plan as well. In my role, I have four years to work my district and get to know it. The House (members) don't have as much time."

In the Ninth U.S. Congressional District represented by Todd Young, R-Bloomington, there would be several major changes. Some Indianapolis suburbs would be added to the district and some areas along the Ohio River from Louisville to Cincinnati would be lost. The shape of the district would go from an east-west configuration to one of north-south, which is more Republican-leaning.

Harrison, Clark and Floyd counties would stay in the district, but the western portion of Crawford County would become part of the Eighth District. Areas from Louisville to Cincinnati would be part of the Sixth District.

Indiana Senate Democrats earlier released their proposed districts. Under their plan, the Ninth District would have stayed similar to its current configuration.

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