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New GOP-Drawn Voting Districts Could Dilute The Influence Of Texas' Increasingly Diverse Electorate

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THURSDAY on "The Source" — The always-contentious fight over the boundaries for Texas' legislative maps is heating up yet again.

Every 10 years, after new census data is made available, lawmakers redraw boundaries for congressional and state legislative districts through the process of redistricting. Texas' population growth — of which people of color made up 95% — earned the state two new congressional seats.

But how do lawmakers decide where to put them? What does the process entail? Will Texas’ maps represent the reality of its residents?

Will redistricting outcomes reflect Texas' diverse population growth or will partisan interests prevail?

Republicans control the Texas Legislature and their aim in redistricting is to draw maps that insulate GOP incumbents from a changing electorate. Critics say that in doing so, the GOP proposal will dilute the voting power of Latino and Black people.

Gerrymandered voting districts are those intentionally drawn to manipulate the vote to favor outcomes for one party over the other. The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to decide the issue of partisan gerrymandering, instead ruling along ideological lines to leave it up to the states.

According to a study by the Associated Press, Texas’ legislative maps have been impacted by gerrymandering more than any other state.

How aggressive is this year's gerrymander? Will there be new legal challenges? Is there a way to fight gerrymandering other than in court?

What will Texas voting maps look like this time around, if the GOP gets its way? Will redistricting outcomes reflect Texas' diverse population growth or will partisan interests prevail?

Guests:

  • Michael Li, redistricting expert and senior counsel for the Brennan Center for Justice
  • Gromer Jeffers Jr., politics reporter for the Dallas Morning News

"The Source" is a live call-in program airing Mondays through Thursdays from 12-1 p.m. Leave a message before the program at (210) 615-8982. During the live show, call 833-877-8255, email thesource@tpr.org or tweet @TPRSource.

*This interview will be recorded on Thursday, September 30.