POLITICS

Indiana Assembly Approves New Electoral Map

Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, left, thanks Ashley Moore, 13, of Indianapolis, for introducing Daniels at the Helping America's Youth Regional Conference in Indianapolis, Tuesday, June 6, 2006. The initiative is a loosely organized consortium of federal agencies and private youth organizations. President Bush announced its formation in his 2005 State of the Union speech and appointed his wife to lead the effort.  (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, left, thanks Ashley Moore, 13, of Indianapolis, for introducing Daniels at the Helping America's Youth Regional Conference in Indianapolis, Tuesday, June 6, 2006. The initiative is a loosely organized consortium of federal agencies and private youth organizations. President Bush announced its formation in his 2005 State of the Union speech and appointed his wife to lead the effort. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

A new electoral map, which some have criticized as unfairly diluting black and Hispanic voting strength, gained final approval from the GOP-dominated General Assembly.

It is now in the hands of Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels for signing.

The state Senate approved the plan 37-12 Wednesday despite calls from a watchdog group that legislators allow more time for public review of the maps.

Republicans say the new districts for 50 Senate and 100 House seats are more compact and keep more cities and counties together. Democrats say the proposed districts will reduce the number of closely contested races.

Leaders of the Indiana Citizens Redistricting Commission say legislators could have allowed public hearings over the summer on the new districts.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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