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STOCK - Whiting - Indianapolis and 119th

STOCK - Whiting - Indianapolis and 119th

WHITING — The City Council recently gave unanimous approval to a resolution that urges the Indiana General Assembly to adopt comprehensive redistricting reform.

Council President Chris Sarvanidis, D-at large, said some concerned citizens had reached out to the council to ask if it was planning to lend its voice to the matter.

"It's gaining more attention and it's the right thing to do," Sarvanidis said. "We wanted to be on board saying that the way it's done now isn't fair and that it should be changed."

The resolution states the current redistricting process creates a conflict of interest.

"It's a committee of state legislators that gathers together to draw the lines, basically," Sarvanidis said.

"A majority ruling party can rule the committee that actually does the redistricting. Therefore, they can draw the lines however they need to, to do the packing and cracking."

Packing is when many voters from one party are put into as few districts as possible to minimize the number of seats that party is likely to win.

Cracking involves spreading voters from one particular party among many districts to limit their influence.

The resolution calls for the redistricting process to be conducted in an open manner with involvement from the public.

"It's a bipartisan effort across the whole United States to kind of make the districts less gerrymandered and more fair," Whiting Mayor Joe Stahura said.

Stahura thinks it is good public policy to do redistricting based on what he said "the spirit of the law always was."

"And that was to balance census block population in contiguous areas," Stahura said.

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Assistant Local News Editor