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Groups want federal court to order new election in 2 Anderson council districts

Jan. 22—ANDERSON — The groups seeking the redistricting of the Anderson City Council districts have filed a motion in federal court for a summary judgement.

Last year Common Cause Indiana, League of Women Voters of Indiana and the local NAACP filed a federal lawsuit alleging the six single-member council districts violated federal law based on the one person, one vote requirement of the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment.

The Anderson City Council in December 2022 voted not to redraw the districts based on the 2020 census.

In the request for summary judgement they want the U.S. Court for the Southern District of Indiana to invalidate the election results from last November in District 3 and District 4.

It is seeking a special election in the two districts after new boundaries have been created to eliminate the deviations in the number of voters.

District 3 is represented by Democrat Greg Graham and District 4 by Democrat Ollie H. Dixon. Both ran unopposed in 2023.

The court document states District 3 had the largest number of voters at 11,643 and District 4 had the fewest voters at 7,490.

They contend the ideal district should each have 9,131 residents.

The court document states the Anderson City Council has not drawn up new districts since 2000.

"The undisputed evidence demonstrates that the Council flaunted this constitutional imperative in 2022 and that it has not redistricted in this century," it reads.

In December there was a settlement conference between the parties but no agreement could be reached. Several council members indicated a settlement couldn't be reached because of a disagreement on the number of residents in each of the six districts.

As proposed the settlement agreement would have merged portions of the 6th District represented by Democrat Joe Newman into the 4th District.

The city council has voted to pay the Chicago based law firm of Henderson Parks a total of $100,000 for representation in the lawsuit.

Follow Ken de la Bastide on Twitter @KendelaBastide, or call 765-640-4863.