INDIANAPOLIS—State Senator Shelli Yoder (D-Bloomington) released the below statement after her amendment to the redistricting bill, House Bill 1581, was rejected by the Republican supermajority. Sen. Yoder’s amendment would have preserved the city of Evansville in one Senate district, rather than splitting it down the middle.
“Hoosiers were loud and clear about wanting Evansville to be put into one Senate district—I haven’t heard one Hoosier express support for not only the inexplicable split of this city, but for splitting the minority vote right down the middle.” Sen. Yoder said. “Evansville has the population to be in one Senate district and preserve the votes of three communities of interest – a minority community, a city community and a rural community. My caucus was easily able to make Evansville its own district despite population changes evidently making it too difficult for the supermajority to do the same when drawing their map.
“The fact that my Senate Republican colleagues blocked my amendment, which would have prevented these communities of interest from being split up, is extremely disappointing. It makes it starkly clear that preserving communities of interest is not a goal of the supermajority despite their repeated claims. If that were truly the goal, my amendment to place the city of Evansville into its own Senate district would have been eagerly accepted. In reality, it appears that the goal is to dilute minority voices in Evansville and further diminish the influence of the voters in that area to give the supermajority a political edge.”