Julia Vaughn, policy director for Common Cause Indiana, will participate in the panel discussion on Sept. 22 after people watch “UnCivil War: U.S. Elections under Siege,” which is a documentary about gerrymandering. Vaughn is one of the people interviewed in the documentary. (Courtesy photo)
Julia Vaughn, policy director for Common Cause Indiana, will participate in the panel discussion on Sept. 22 after people watch “UnCivil War: U.S. Elections under Siege,” which is a documentary about gerrymandering. Vaughn is one of the people interviewed in the documentary. (Courtesy photo)
While Monroe County officials believe they are taking all necessary precautions to lessen the chance that any voter experiences voter suppression, there is one type of voter suppression affecting Bloomington, Monroe County and other Indiana voting races — gerrymandering.

Manipulating the boundaries of election districts to favor a certain party is something that has allegedly happened in the 9th congressional district, which includes portions of Monroe and surrounding counties. It’s something that concerns Julia Vaughn, policy director of Common Cause Indiana, which is a nonpartisan, nonprofit group that works for open, honest and accountable government.

Vaughn, who appears in “UnCivil War: U.S. Elections under Siege,” talks about Bloomington and the 9th District and how the district boundaries were “radically changed” after the last U.S. Census. Those changes led to the incumbent, Peggy Welch, losing the election in 2012, Vaughn said. Welch also shares her views in the documentary.

“She talks about how she was a moderate and tried to serve the community,” Vaughn recalled. “The film does a really good job of explaining why this matters. I think sometimes people think that gerrymandering is inside baseball. They do a good job of explaining that you have to understand what happens behind the scenes.”

Common Cause Indiana and other groups have shown that when election boundaries are drawn by citizens, the districts are more equal and less likely to favor one political party over another. The election district boundaries are redrawn every 10 years, after the latest Census numbers are reported.
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