Essay On Redistricting

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One of the most important principles behind voting is the idea that each citizen or voter has equal input, a principle often referred to as “one person, one vote”. Theoretically for each vote to carry equal weight each voting district should contain the same number of voters, however with populations constantly shifting this can be difficult to achieve. In order to accomplish this equality, redistricting allows states to redraw the boundaries of their electoral districts following the census every ten years. Typically the majority party has control over redistricting and uses it to redraw districts in order to give their candidates the best chance at winning each district. This practice known as gerrymandering has been a major and controversial aspect of redistricting since its inception. Redistricting has sparked controversy in the Texas government after both the 2000 and 2010 censuses.
By the year 2000, Texas Republicans had taken control of the executive branch, house, and senate within the state government. After elections in 2002, Republicans also gained a majority in the U.S. House of Representatives, but the state of Texas sent seventeen Democrat and fifteen Republican representatives to Washington. This ratio was disproportional to the voting percentages statewide where Republican congressional candidates had received fifty six percent of the votes. So the Texas State Legislature backed by House Majority Leader and Texan Tom DeLay began to push for a redistricting of Texas congressional districts. The Texas Legislature had failed to pass any redistricting legislation during the 2001 regular legislative session. Republicans, saw an opportunity for a major political gain by redistricting Texas so in 2003 a redistricting bi...

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...t time since Reconstruction. The Democratic representatives and representatives did everything they could to resist this change but it was clear from voting records in the previous election a change in the maps needed to be made. Redistricting following the 2010 census was heavily scrutinized, and after much legal maneuvering resulted in Republicans gaining a slightly larger advantage in the state. It could be argued the original maps were discriminatory in nature because they deliberately grouped many of the minority populations together. Most would agree the interim maps better achieved their true purpose of voting equality and will likely be used going forward. Even though redistricting has been a controversial issue in the state it is a necessary part of the voting process and will continue to ensure voting districts are adapting to the changing the populations.

In this essay, the author

  • Explains that redistricting allows states to redraw the boundaries of their electoral districts following the census every ten years.
  • Explains how texas republicans took control of the executive branch, house, and senate, but the state sent seventeen democrat and fifteen republican representatives to washington.
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