Unless Congress Acts, Republicans Across the Country Could Use Partisan Gerrymandering to Dilute Power of Voters of Color and Help Give Republicans an Artificial House Majority
ATLANTA — Today, Fair Fight, the national voting rights organization founded by Stacey Abrams, responded to Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s announcement that he will convene a third special legislative session, focusing on redistricting, beginning September 20.
The announcement of the special session to approve redrawn legislative and congressional districts comes on the same day Abbott signed SB 1, an extreme anti-voter bill that further restricts the freedom to vote for eligible Texans. Congress can mitigate the harm of partisan gerrymandering by passing the For the People Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act.
Texas gained two Congressional seats as a result of population growth reflected in the 2020 Census. While the vast majority of the population growth was among communities of color, Texas Republicans have not explicitly committed to making sure the voting power of communities of color is protected in the map-drawing process. Texas, now with 38 Congressional seats, is the largest state in which lines will be redrawn by a partisan body, and it is the first state to announce the date for a special session for redistricting.
An analysis by Mother Jones found that Republicans could retake the U.S. House in 2022 just by gerrymandering four southern states, including Texas.
Fair Fight Senior Advisor Lauren Groh-Wargo issued the following statement:
“As Texas Republicans rush to redraw Congressional maps on the heels of passing an extreme anti-voter law, there has never been a more urgent need for federal action to protect our democracy. It’s simple: Unless Congress acts, Republicans across the country can use partisan gerrymandering to dilute the voting power of communities of color and help hand Republicans an artificial House majority. Senators must listen to their constituents and pass the For the People Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act right away.”