Texas Voters and Voto Latino Challenge Discriminatory Maps with Support of National Redistricting Action Fund
NRAF Finds That Texas Maps Do Not Adequately Represent Communities of Color
WASHINGTON –The congressional map signed by Texas Governor Greg Abbott is being challenged for diluting the voting power of communities of color in violation of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act (VRA) by a group of individual voter-plaintiffs and Voto Latino with the support of the National Redistricting Action Fund (NRAF). The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, Austin Division.
“We simply cannot allow Governor Abbott to deny Texans a free and fair election through these undemocratic, gerrymandered maps that fail spectacularly to represent the state’s growing communities of color,” said Eric H. Holder, Jr., the 82nd Attorney General of the United States. “Abbott is running away from a fair fight and is doing everything possible to avoid elections with a map that properly reflects Texas’ significant demographic growth over the past decade. These communities deserve a new map that complies with the Voting Rights Act and puts power back in the hands of Texans.”
“Texas added two million Latinos to its population in the 2020 Census, and yet State Republicans have still found a way to gerrymander and avoid adding districts that represent this growth. The Texas GOP’s efforts silence Latino voices through diminishing the power of their voting, packing and dividing them into convoluted district lines that lessen their representation, and making it harder to elect representatives of their choice,” said Voto Latino CEO Maria Teresa Kumar. “Latino population growth was the primary factor in why Texas has been allotted two new Congressional seats next cycle, yet these new redistricting lines are further evidence that Texas Republicans believe they can act with impunity in their crusade to suppress the vote.”
The 2020 Census revealed that Texas experienced significant population growth over the past decade. In fact, Texas was the only state to gain two congressional seats as a result of reapportionment. The census data also revealed that 95% of the state’s population growth between 2010 and 2020 came from communities of color. Yet the congressional redistricting plan signed into law by Governor Abbott actually decreases the number of districts in which the state’s communities of color have a reasonable opportunity to elect their preferred candidates, and increases the number of districts where a majority of voting-age residents are white.
This is exactly why Congress must do everything it can to recognize this threat and counteract it by passing the the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act and the Freedom to Vote Act which would ban partisan gerrymandering, strengthen protections for communities of color, and put the power in the hands of the people where it belongs.
The complaint can be found here.
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The National Redistricting Action Fund (NRAF) is the 501(c)(4) affiliate of the National Democratic Redistricting Committee. The mission of the NRAF is to harness the power of people and the courts to dismantle unfair electoral maps and create a redistricting system based on democratic values. By helping to create more just and representative electoral districts across the country, we also hope to restore the public’s faith in a true representative democracy.
About Voto Latino
Voto Latino is a grassroots political organization focused on educating and empowering a new generation of Latinx voters, as well as creating a more robust and inclusive democracy. Through innovative digital campaigns, culturally relevant programs and authentic voices, we shepherd the Latinx community towards the full realization of its political power.