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Groups call for new elections, redrawn districts in local government redistricting lawsuit

A faceless person hits the touch screen of a voting machine during the 2022 election.
Lauren Chapman
/
IPB News
The plaintiffs in a redistricting case against the Anderson City Council have filed a motion in federal court for summary judgment.

The plaintiffs in a redistricting case against the Anderson City Council have filed a motion in federal court for summary judgment – a decision based on evidence and statements without a full trial. Common Cause Indiana, the League of Women Voters of Indiana and the Madison County NAACP filed the motion.

The lawsuit, which was filed in June, said the Anderson City Council violated state and federal law and went against the “one person, one vote” idea of districting by voting not to redraw districts based on the 2020 Census.

The law says state, county and local governments are to review district lines after the U.S. Census is taken every 10 years. The lawsuit alleges the Anderson City Council should’ve redrawn district lines after 2020 Census data was released.

The groups have said the statistical deviation between the smallest and largest current districts in the Anderson Council is 45 percent, with other court cases previously ruling 10 percent violates the “one person, one vote” idea.

The plaintiffs filed the lawsuit and a motion for a preliminary injunction ahead of the November 2023 municipal elections – hoping to declare the current districts unconstitutional.

READ MORE: Lawsuit challenges Anderson local government for failure to redistrict before deadline

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The most recent motion now asks the court to invalidate the November election results from Districts 3 and 4.

A mapping specialist hired by Common Cause Indiana reported in acourt document in the case that there are more than 11,600 voters in District 3 and about 7,500 voters in District 4. The plaintiffs said each district should have about 9,000 voters to make the distribution more fair.

The plaintiffs requested these districts be redrawn to “eliminate deviations” between these districts and have a special election for these districts once new boundaries are drawn.

The parties reached no agreement during a settlement conference late last year, and the City Council has since paid a Chicago-based law firm for representation in the lawsuit.

Federal courts have not made a ruling.

Violet is our daily news reporter. Contact her at vcomberwilen@wfyi.org or follow her on Twitter at @ComberWilen.

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