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Reform Advocates Decry House Republicans' Redistricting Consultant

Lauren Chapman
IPB News

Redistricting reform advocates aren’t happy about the national Republican lawyer the Indiana House GOP hired to consult on redistricting.

The Republican caucus contracted with Washington, D.C. attorney Jason Torchinsky as they prepare to draw new legislative district lines.

House Republican leaders point out that redistricting is a complex process, with a web of federal laws and court rulings that determine which legislative maps are legal.

Common Cause Indiana Policy Director Julia Vaughn said there’s nothing wrong with getting advice. But she argued Torchinsky and his firm have long fought to uphold unfair maps.

“This is like the state has appointed someone who’s convicted of arson to be the fire marshal,” Vaughn said.

READ MORE: Redistricting 101: Who Draws Indiana’s Legislative District Maps, And How

Join the conversation and sign up for the Indiana Two-Way. Text "Indiana" to 73224. Your comments and questions in response to our weekly text help us find the answers you need on statewide issues.

House Republicans insist no outside person or group will help draw the actual maps. But Vaughn said that doesn’t really matter.

“He’s obviously going to be called upon to weigh in on whether packed and cracked districts violate the Voting Rights Act,” Vaughn said.

Lawmakers will unveil their new maps next month.

Contact reporter Brandon at or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

Brandon Smith is excited to be working for public radio in Indiana. He has previously worked in public radio as a reporter and anchor in mid-Missouri for KBIA Radio out of Columbia. Prior to that, he worked for WSPY Radio in Plano, Illinois as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. His first job in radio was in another state capitol, in Jefferson City, Missouri, as a reporter for three radio stations around Missouri. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.
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