With a new redistricting trial set to take place this week, the San Antonio Express News examined the state of political gerrymandering in Texas.
The piece specifically looks at the Republican party and how minority voters are affected by the location of political district lines.
In March of this year, a federal panel of judges invalidated three congressional districts on the grounds of “lawmakers knowingly discriminat(ing) in making these districts.”
That ruling addressed district lines drawn in 2011, but judges are concerned the ones made in 2013 may not be much better.
Emails exchanged between Texas Republican representatives show an effort to draw district lines around “secure” votes they feel comfortable relying on – those votes not often cast by minority voters.
“There is one (precinct) which includes two condo buildings w many gop supporters and the sa country club adjacent to my dist,” an email from Representative Lamar Smith read related to the pending trial evidence. “Wld really like to get.”
Political experts agree one solution could be an independent redistricting commission, designed to be unbiased to voters or partisan interests, focused on redrawing districts for more even representation.
Otherwise, district borders could continue to be drawn based on what keeps people in office.