Efforts to drain more politics out of legislative mapmaking for the new decade are getting pride of place as GOP-run legislatures convene in a pair of generally red Midwestern states.
Influential lawmakers from both parties in the Indiana General Assembly signed a pledge Monday to support legislation making the next round of redistricting more transparent, nondiscriminatory and politically impartial than in the past.
And in Missouri, where the General Assembly convened on Wednesday, leaders of the GOP majorities are pushing a measure they describe as a compromise for tamping down the state's past tendencies toward partisan gerrymandering. Democrats are not yet on board, however.
Everyone knows our political system is broken. Here's what most people don't know: We can fix it. Unbreaking America shows why nearly every issue we face as a nation is caught in the grip of corruption – and what we can do to stop it. At Represent Indianapolis' Unbreaking America Screening, you will:
- Watch Unbreaking America: Divided We Fall, the short film starring Jennifer Lawrence
- Discuss the film and current chapter events at a meeting following the film
- Learn how you can make an impact locally and nationally in the anti-corruption movement
Whether you're a longtime volunteer or brand new to the movement, this is the perfect opportunity to get informed and involved in Texas.
Location: Glendale Library, 6101 N Keystone Ave., Indianapolis, IN
Add Indiana to the states with nonprofit, nonpartisan organizations trying to improve the functioning of democracy.
Indiana Citizen, which debuted last month, is the brainchild of longtime Democratic activists Bill and Ann Moreau.
Earlier in his career, Bill Moreau worked for Birch Bayh, a prominent senator from Indiana in the 1960s and 1970s. Then he served in various capacities, including chief of staff, when Bayh's son Evan was Indiana's secretary of state and then governor.
He is retiring at the end of the year as a partner in the law firm Barnes & Thornburg to focus full time on promoting the work of Indiana Citizen, which is operated by the nonpartisan, nonprofit Indiana Citizen Education Foundation Inc.
The initial goal of the group is to improve Indiana's low standing among the states when comparing voter turnout. The state ranked 43rd in voter participation in last year's election, the Census Bureau estimates, a tiny uptick after coming in 47th in the previous midterm, in 2014. In the 2016 presidential election the state ranked 41st, a drop of three places from the previous presidential year.
The ambitious goal of Indiana Citizen is to move the state into the top 10 for turnout next November.
Indiana is not moving nearly assertively enough to upgrade its voting machines so they're less vulnerable to hackers, a nonprofit alleges in a federal lawsuit pressing the state to spend millions more before the presidential election.
At issue is the timetable for eliminating the direct recording electronic, or DRE, voting machines that are in use in 58 of the state's 92 counties. The complaint filed Thursday by Indiana Vote by Mail, which advocates for any array of proposals to give Hoosiers easier access to the ballot box, wants to force the state to replace the paperless devices in the next year with machines that produce a voter-verified paper audit trail.
Indiana for now looks to be among just eight states using paperless balloting in 2020, when President Trump will be counting on its 11 electoral votes. The state last went for the Democratic candidate for president in 2008.