Thursday, December 1, 2011

Calling Out the Bogus Claim That Extensive Reprecincting Is Required By the Indiana's General Assembly

Part of Hamilton County resident and Marion County GOP hatchetman David Brook's $225,000 contract included the redoing of Marion County's 590 precincts.  A full $50,000 was to be devoted to that task.

Attorney David Brooks
The mandate in the law is that precinct lines cannot cross state legislative and congressional district lines.  See IC 3-11-1.5-38.  In other words, precincts can't be split between legislative districts.

Both Council President Ryan Vaughn and Brooks claim that extensive reprecincting needed to be done because the legislature went by census tracks rather than precinct lines when crafting new maps for the state legislature and Congress.  The suggestion is that there were numerous split precincts.

The problem with that claim is that it simply is not true.

The bills that established state senate districts list the contents of the districts by precinct as do the state house districts.  The senate districts and the house districts have now been codified.  Only the congressional districts involve a few situations where census tracks are cited instead of precinct lines. Even then it appears that just one precinct in Marion County had to be tweaked to comply with the legislative mandate that voters in a precinct not be split between districts.

Why would there be extensive tweaking done to the precincts since there was no legal requirement that they do so?  The only reason is to try to secure an advantage in the newly drawn council district maps.  Precincts were being strategically divided by Brooks' to give Republicans an edge.  What is overlooked is the turmoil that Brooks' reprecincting will cause for the Clerks' office and voters as they struggle to figure out the new precincts.

It is sad that Brooks and Vaughn are blaming the legislature for their actions when in fact they're doing nothing more than slicing and dicing precincts as part of an elaborate gerrymandering scheme to help out the Republican Party in the 2015 council election.

See also:  Had Enough Indy's commentary on this subject.


Nicolas Martin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nicolas Martin said...

Aside from being the councilor misrepresenting my section of Indianapolis, Vaughn is also a pathological liar, ergo a strong bet for the Republican mayoral nomination in 4 years.

Paul K. Ogden said...

Since the legislature used EXISTING precincts in drafting Indiana house and senate districts I need proof as to why those EXISTING precincts now have to be tweaked to comply with the house and senate maps.

The law is that precincts cannot be redrawn to cross legislative districts.

It is only the congressional maps where they did not always rely on existing precincts and sometimes use census tracks instead. Even that was rare.

Wilson46201 said...