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The governor of Texas Greg Abbott signed on Monday the law that establishes the New Texas Election Maps for congressional, legislative and state Board of Education districts, according to Texas Legislature Online.
The electoral maps were drawn to keep the republicans from Texas in power for the next decade. Simultaneously, they diminish the power of minority voters, despite new census figures pointing to minority Texans as the main force behind the state’s population growth, according to an analysis by the Texas Tribune.
The new districts created in these electoral maps will be used for the first time in 2022 primary and general elections, unless the courts intervene.
The new electoral map of Texas reduces the number of districts in which Hispanics make up the majority of eligible voters from 33 to 30. The number of districts with African American residents as the majority of eligible voters drops from 7 to 6. Meanwhile, the number of districts with a white majority among eligible voters increases from 83 to 89.
The redistricting process, which occurs every 10 years after the new US Census data is released, is complicated and controversial. Legal battles have already started in Texas, with a lawsuit claiming that the new districts of the electoral maps unfairly and illegally discriminate against minority voters. More legal challenges are expected to emerge in the near future.
Lawsuit in defense of minority vote
Defenders of latin vote and minorities filed a lawsuit against the new electoral maps of constituencies of voters Texas, under the argument that the effort of the Republican Party it diminishes the voices of Hispanics and does not reflect the state’s demographic change, activists said Tuesday.
At a press conference led by Eric Holder, a former United States attorney general, supporters of the vote explained that the new electoral maps They “dilute” the voting power of communities of color, in violation of section 2 of the Voting Rights Act.
The legal complaint was filed shortly after the governor Greg Abbott, sign the law that establishes the new electoral map from Texas.
There are more Latino voters
Texas added four million new residents since 2010. 95% of this growth is attributed to minority people and the majority are Latins (two million new residents).
Thanks to these new residents, Texas added two new seats in the House of Representatives, going from 36 to 38 seats. However, Republicans chose to give white voters effective control of the two new seats, which were drawn in the Houston and Austin areas.
“Governor Abbott and the Republicans are avoiding a fair electoral fight,” said Holder at the press conference where the lawsuit against the new electoral map.
He added that Governor Abbott is doing everything he can to prevent the 2022 election from adequately reflecting the significant population growth in Texas over the past decade.
The lawsuit, filed by more than 12 voters and the organization Latino Vote, requires the federal court for the Western District of Texas to no choice allowed under these new mapssaid Marc Elias, founder of Democracy Docket.
Maps to repress the power of the Latino vote
The republicans from Texas have defended the new electoral maps saying that race was not taken into account for its design.
Republican State Senator Joan Huffman, author of the new electoral maps, defended their legality arguing that they were examined by a legal team and that no violations of the law were found. Voting Rights Law.
Holder called for Congress to recognize the threats that are being planted across the country, and urged passage of the John Lewis Voting Rights Promotion Act and the Freedom of Voting Act, which would prohibit partisan redistribution of electoral maps.
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