Texas politics: Redrawn voting maps include 38 congressional districts
As ABC13 first reported on Monday, the two new districts are 37 in Austin and 38 in Houston.
In Austin, District 37 was drawn to give Democrats an extra seat. Meanwhile, in Houston, District 38 is a safe bet for Republicans.
The new map, if approved, would reshape existing districts. The Republicans protect Dan Crenshaw in District 2 and Troy Niles in District 22.
It also alters the demographics of District 7, making it more of a minority area and potentially attracting a key contender to Lizzie Fletcher’s current democracy, according to Rice University political science fellow Mark Jones.
“Fletcher’s district has gone from swing zone to dark blue and the Democrats are sure to win it,” Jones said. “However, it has moved from an Anglo-majority area to a minority majority area which means that Fletcher is now vulnerable to competition from a person of color.”
Republicans who control the process have benefited by making their districts stronger and more reliable, with Democratic districts essentially mobilizing or thickening to reduce the influence of these voters in other districts.
In District 7, where Fletcher switched the county from Republican to Democrat two rounds ago, the newly proposed seven would take minority voters from neighboring districts where they may have voted against incumbent Republicans.
Unlike previous maps, these new maps are not subject to prior federal approval.
“In 2013, the Supreme Court struck down Shelby v. Holder Section V of the Voting Rights Act,” Jones told ABC13. “Which means that the Texas legislature, unlike in previous sessions, does not need to obtain prior authorization from the Department of Justice or a federal district court in the District of Columbia, which means that these maps do not have to pass muster with anyone.”
Maps are not final. The Texas House has not released its new map and there will be lawsuits and legal challenges on any new maps. But these challenges can take years to resolve, so 2022 will likely look different from 2020 for countries experiencing a huge demographic boom and transition.
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