Texas

Texas is a growing state with changing demographics that could gain 2 or 3 new congressional seats following the 2020 Census. Our electoral targets are the state Senate and the state House.

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How Redistricting Happened in Texas

The following timeline is a high-level overview outlining major redistricting events and activity in the state of Texas over the last 10 years.

2011

Census data delivered to Texas.

Republicans drew and passed a gerrymandered map, setting off years of litigation. Voters filed a series of lawsuits alleging Texas’ congressional and state house plans violated the U.S. Constitution and Sections 2 and 5 of the Voting Rights Act.

2012

A federal district court ordered interim “compromise” plans for both the congressional and state legislative maps to be used while the state’s 2011 maps were being challenged.

2013

The Texas Legislature repealed its original maps and enacted the maps based off of the court’s interim plan on a permanent basis, but those plans contained many of the same legal infirmities as the original plan drafted in 2011 and was consequentially the subject of additional lawsuits.

2017

A federal district court struck down portions of the 2011 plans. With respect to the congressional map, the court found that the map contained districts that were unconstitutional gerrymanders and that the legislature had unconstitutionally and intentionally diluted minority voters. Regarding the state house plan, the court found intentional vote dilution in violation of the U.S. Constitution and the Voting Rights Act, violations of the one person, one vote requirement, and racial gerrymandering.

The district court also struck down the 2013 plans. The court ruled that that the congressional map included intentional discrimination and violations of the Constitution and Voting Rights Act. It also ruled that the 2013 state house plan violated the Constitution and the Voting Rights Act and purposefully held over discriminatory features from the 2011 plan.

The U.S. Supreme Court issued an order halting the process of redrawing the maps.

2018

The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments on the challenged maps in April.

In June, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled, in a 5-4 decision, that all but one house district will be allowed to stand. This leaves in place the current congressional maps for the rest of the decade. House District 90 was ruled an impermissible racial gerrymander.

In November, Texans will have the opportunity to vote for Democratic state senators committed to fair maps and ending gerrymandering.

Know the Races that Impact Redistricting

  • State Senate. Half of the Texas Senate is up this year. In Texas, senators serve four-year terms, making it critically important to make gains now and then again in 2020.
  • State House. Every seat in the Texas House of Representatives is up for election this year and Democrats are running in record numbers to make historic gains.

1 Know the Decision Makers

Redistricting is controlled by the state legislature and governor. For the state legislative maps, if the legislature cannot pass a map, a 5-member backup commission will draw the lines. This commission includes the following elected officials:

  • Lieutenant Governor
  • State Speaker of the House
  • Attorney General
  • Comptroller of Public Accounts
  • Commissioner of the General Land Office

2 Know Your State Legislature

Texas Lower Chamber
55

Democratic-held
seats

93

Republican-held
seats

2 Vacant seats

Texas Upper Chamber
11

Democratic-held
seats

20

Republican-held
seats

3 Register to Vote

Register to vote in Texas

You can also confirm that you are already registered to vote.

4 Vote

Vote for candidates who will unrig the system. We will have a list of candidates we are supporting later in the year.

 

Primary Election Date: March 6, 2018

General Election Date: November 6, 2018

Court Cases Impacting Texas

The U.S. Supreme Court is reviewing racial gerrymandering and Voting Rights Act claims against Texas’s congressional and state legislative maps, after the lower courts struck those maps down.

Abbott v. Perez

Read the district court panel decision on the congressional map here.

Abbott v. Perez

Read the district court panel decision on the state map here.

Get Involved in Texas Today

The fight to fix gerrymandering is right now—and we need your help in Texas! Here’s what you can do:

Join Organizing for ‘18

The National Democratic Redistricting Committee and Organizing for Action (OFA) launched a partnership to build a more fair democracy by strategically targeting legislative chambers, governorships, and ballot initiatives that will be critical in determining how maps are drawn after the 2020 Census.

Join a Local OFA Chapter

Alongside the National Redistricting Action Fund (an NDRC affiliate), OFA is engaging with activists and volunteers to help educate people about gerrymandering and involve them in the process of fixing a badly rigged political system.

Attend Events Near You

The National Democratic Redistricting Committee and MobilizeAmerica have teamed up to bring you the highest-impact volunteer opportunities in Texas to help elect Democrats up and down the ticket — and bring an end to Republican gerrymandering.

You can register to vote for the general election in Texas up until October 9, 2018.

Register
to Vote