Austin, TX — Ahead of redistricting in 2020, voters of color, civil rights groups, and Democratic lawmakers are renewing the call to put Texas back under federal preclearance citing multiple findings of discriminatory effect and intent from Texas Republicans. According to the Dallas Morning News, “It’s a move that, if successful, would again block Texas from changing state voting laws and procedures without federal approval.”
Texas Democratic Party Chair Gilberto Hinojosa issued the following statement:
“It is no secret that Texas Republicans deliberately discriminated against Texans of color and led a deceitful legal strategy to silence Texans from having a voice in their own government.
“The fact is, returning to federal preclearance is an important step that curbs Republicans aggressive and unlawful attempts to suppress the vote and discriminate against minorities.
“Texas Democrats look forward to a day when our maps are drawn fairly and every Texan is given an equal opportunity to make their voice heard. Regardless of the color of your skin, your gender, your identity, where you live, how much money you make, or what party you affiliate with, every vote should count equally.”
“Every Texan has the constitutional right for their vote to count,” state Rep. Rafael Anchia, a Dallas Democrat and chairman of the Mexican American Legislative Caucus, said in a written statement. “Reinstating pre-clearance is a standard that the Texas Legislature should be required to meet after their record of multiple findings of discriminatory effect and intent since 2011. Texas voters deserve better.” [Dallas News, August 29, 2018]
“[…]in Texas, racial and partisan gerrymandering are essentially the same because voting tends to be highly polarized racially — a majority of whites sticking with the GOP, minorities — the fastest-growing part of the state’s population — mostly voting Democratic.” [San Antonio Express-News, November 14, 2018]
“Texas spent years among the states that didn’t merit the federal government’s trust. Our state government’s history of racial discrimination put us on a short leash along with other, mostly Southern provinces that also have troubled histories when it comes to the voting rights of minority American citizens. In 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court decided the list had gotten a little moldy. They threw it out, freeing Texas and the others from the restraints put on them back when the nation’s civil rights laws were passed.” [Texas Tribune, March 15, 2017]