The Texas House of Representatives Redistricting Committee held a public hearing Monday Nov. 4 at the Del Mar Center for Economic Development Center in Corpus Christi, Texas. The hearing is the start of many months of gathering public information to draw new district lines- which occurs every ten years. The importance of redistricting is to make every vote count and achieve an accurate representation for the voting community.
Redistricting has been under intense scrutiny due to gerrymandering strategists that gather information to try to advance a favored political party. Nueces County Judge Barbara Canales recently filed a motion this August in the Wake County North Carolina Superior Court requesting information and files relating to Nueces County in the gerrymandering case known as The Hofeller Files.
Background of Case
Thomas B. Hofeller- a Republican strategist and master of gerrymandering, died August 2018 – after his passing his daughter found hard drives that brought about a flood of Republican Political figures pursing the protective order to destroy 75,000-plus files that contain 100,000 documents and thousands of maps; part of these legal documents and maps under protective order involve Nueces County.
The strategy devised by Hofeller, gave Republicans control of state and congressional political maps drawn- using the 2010 Census data. This would allow political parties to obtain more precise citizenship questions and data so state legislative lines could be drawn based on the number of citizen voters, which Hofeller believed would make it easier to pack Democrats and minorities into fewer districts, giving Republicans the advantage.
Republican figures have been fighting to keep the files confidential for a year- the files showed a key part into the decision of the Trump administration to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census, a decision that was challenged in the federal courts and ruled unjust to protect the voting rights of racial minorities.
A court filed this week that the Hofeller files will be made public and show first hand the intentions of the maps and his role with the Republican party.
During this time of intense political climate the district lines being drawn for the next ten years will shape the future. For more information visit https://redistricting.capitol.texas.gov/2020s.