Local Government Redistricting: The Forgotten Mandate
Redistricting of state legislatures and the US House of Representatives is a high-profile, high-stakes process that every state engages in the year after the decennial census. What many people in Indiana—including many government officials—do not realize is that most local governments are also required by Indiana state law and the Equal Protection Clause of the US Constitution to redistrict. In the case of county councils and certain types of school boards in Indiana, that process had to be completed by the end of 2011.
We have found that a majority of county councils in Indiana either failed to redistrict in 2011, or failed to draw districts that are nearly equal in population, compact, and consist of whole precincts—all of which are required by law. Our preliminary conclusion is that many school boards that were required to redistrict in 2011 also failed to do so, or did so improperly.