Monroe County and the City of Bloomington are accepting applications for their respective advisory committees related to upcoming redistricting.
Monroe County will be redrawing precinct boundaries for the county, and possibly district boundaries for the Monroe County Board of Commissioners and Monroe County Council. Redistricting occurs every 10 years, following the U.S. Census results. Results of the 2020 U.S. Census were released in mid-August. To apply for the Monroe County redistricting advisory committee, click here.
Bloomington Council will be redrawing its six districts. More information about the council's Citizens' Redistricting Advisory Commission, including an application, is here.
Local redistricting work can’t be finished until the state-level districts are drawn. If an existing precinct is split by a state legislative or congressional district, it has to be redrawn so that it is not split. Indiana’s state legislators are expected to complete that work in mid-to-late September.
Due to complications from the COVID-19 pandemic, the deadline for completing the 2020 U.S. Census has been extended to Oct. 31.
Residents can fill out the census online, by phone or using the mailed-in form. The Census 2020 site is available in English and 12 other languages. To complete it by phone, call 844-330-2020.
As of mid-June, Monroe County's response rate was 62.5% lower than Indiana's rate of 66.1%. The response rate for Bloomington is even lower, at 57.1%. Click here to check response rates.
NOTE: The following op-ed was co-authored by Ann Birch, President of the League of Women Voters of Bloomington-Monroe County, and Mary Morgan, Director of Advocacy and Public Policy for the Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce. A version was published in the May 20, 2020 Indiana Daily Student.
The COVID-19 crisis gives all of us a compelling reason to invest in our democracy—when could this be more important than in times of national emergency? Here’s what you can do to make sure your voice is heard:
1) Be aware. By now, all Monroe County registered voters should have received an absentee ballot application. If you want to vote by mail, no excuses needed, this is your chance. You can also apply for your ballot online at the Indiana Voter Portal. You have until May 21 to get your application in.
You can still vote in person both on Election Day and during early voting. Early voting starts on May 26 at Monroe County Election Central, 401 W. 7th St. – check their website for hours. With the continued need for protection against COVID-19, your polling place on Election Day (June 2) may have changed, and new rules will be in place to minimize the chance for contagion. Find your polling place at the Indiana Voter Portal.
2) Be informed. Several nonpartisan guides give candidate information and enable comparison between candidates on issues. The Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce provides a voter guide for local candidates, state legislature candidates, and District 9 congressional candidates. The League of Women Voters voter Vote411 website includes questions and answers on issues for federal and state races and links to candidate information for local races. Just go to the site, enter your address, and under “Find What’s On Your Ballot,” click Explore Now.
In addition to these two resources, the Concerned Scientists at Indiana University Bloomington organization has queried District 9 congressional candidates on science topics. Check out the CSIU website to read the responses.
3) Be counted. This is a census year. When you respond to the census, you are helping to direct billions of dollars in federal funds to local communities for schools, roads, and other public services. In addition, census results are used to determine your political representation at all levels of government. If you’re an IU student, have you counted yourself? Getting students to count themselves and their roommates at their off-campus apartments, not at their parents’ homes, has been challenging. Go to the Census 2020 site to fill out the questionnaire. It’s important. And it’s easy.
The Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce is a partner for the U.S. Census 2020, working with a broad coalition to ensure that our community has a high participation rate.
As part of that effort, we're publicizing the availability of jobs to help with the Census count in 2020. The U.S. Census Bureau is hiring a variety of temporary jobs, including census takers, recruiting staff, and office staff.
Click here for details about Census 2020 jobs and how to apply.