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Indiana News

Reform Advocates Decry House Republicans' Redistricting Consultant

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Lauren Chapman/IPB News
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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

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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 bsmith@ipbs.org or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.