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Texas Matters: 2020 Voter Trends And Voting Rights Act

Ryan Poppe | Texas Public Radio

It was in 2003 when Republicans took the majority of the Texas House of Representatives. The GOP had already won the Governor's seat and control of the Senate. The House was the last piece of the state government to secure the trifecta that’s been in place ever since. Controlling all three vital centers of state power makes it much easier for the dominate party to pursue its agenda and essentially operate without aggressive oversight.  This was not unlike how the Democrats ran Texas when they had a power trifecta during their era of single party rule which ended in 1994.

But could the GOP trifecta soon come to its end? There are predictions this election cycle could be the year that Democrats gain control of the House. But is that political puffery and wishful thinking? Is there really a chance? And what would it mean for the Dems to have some actual power in Texas, particularly in a redistricting session?

Harvey Kronberg is the founding editor of the Quorum Report, a non-partisan online newsletter that covers Texas politics.

Voting Rights Act Remembered

The Voter Rights Act is a landmark piece of federal legislature that prohibited racial discrimination in voting. It was signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson on Aug. 6, 1965 during the height of the civil rights movement. It granted the federal government the authority to enforce voting protections in the South when Jim Crow, White Supremacy and brutal acts of violence kept African Americans from voting. The Voting Rights Act is considered to be the most effective piece of federal civil rights legislation even enacted in the United States. That is until 2013 when the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the coverage formula as unconstutional.

On Tuesday — the anniversary of the Voting Rights Act signing — events will be held across the nation to celebrate the passage and call for it’s full restoration.  Michael Coleman is a spokesperson for Public Citizen Texas.

The celebration and a vigil for the Voting Rights Act is Tuesday in Austin at the David Chapel Missionary Baptist Church.

David Martin Davies can be reached at DMDavies@TPR.org and on Twitter at @DavidMartinDavi.

David Martin Davies can be reached at dmdavies@tpr.org and on Twitter at @DavidMartinDavi