Essay on Redistricting in Texas - Essay Prowess

Essay on Redistricting in Texas

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Redistricting in Texas

Elections in America are carried out under numerous federal and state laws. Electing the President in America is done by an electoral college made of representatives from different states. It is therefore important for political parties to ensure that they get as many representatives as possible in the different states so as to elect their candidate for Presidency. Representative in congress are elected from various districts across states and these districts are redrawn every 10 years after the US census do has to have equal districts in preparation for elections. This paper will look at the process of redistricting and the ethical issues it poses to the election process with a focus of the process in Texas.

Redistricting is simply the process where a state will have its district boundaries redrawn. This process in Texas is governed by state legislature. In line with the 2010 census, Texas had 36 congressional seats. However, the districts maps drawn after the 2010 census have faced legal suits with the US Supreme court terming the district maps as unconstitutional and racial gerrymanders.

Article 1(4) of the American Constitution provides the legality of redistricting. Under this provision, state legislature has the authority make laws regulating congressional elections in terms of the time, place and manner of the congressional election. If therefore, the state legislature passes the redistricting maps in its state, this process should be considered valid and legal. However, there are rules that govern the process of redistricting that if not followed would make the process illegal even when passed by the state legislature.  The first is when redistricting is done in a way that will lead to discrimination of the voters which goes against the Voting Rights Act of 1965. A district made in a way to segregates people of one race will be considered illegal. Additionally, there is a strict rule that the population of districts must try to be as equal as practically possible. Where the population of a district is found to have more or less the average population, it must be accompanied by state policy or risk being considered illegal.

The federal judicial system should be involved in the redistricting process to avoid political and racial gerrymandering. This is because in some instances politicians are able to influence the process and lead to discrimination of certain voters. In the 2002 elections and the need for federal judicial system in the redistricting process became evident and especially in Texas where Tom Delay had influence on the process in a bid to buy the election and fill Congress with members from the Republican Party (Bimbaum and Schermbeck, 2006). The involvement of the federal judicial system provides a non-biased avenue that can be trusted by the voters to indicate where irregularities in the process.

Conclusion

The redistricting process is very crucial to the election exercise and as such should be done under the highest level of scrutiny to avoid election irregularities or discrimination that is against several legislations in America.  The issue of redistricting in Teas has shed light to the need of interventions by the federal government in providing oversight, intervention and regulation of the exercise for transparency. States could alternatively adopt the approach where independent commissions are adopted for the redistricting process to avoid irregularities in the election process.

Bibliography              

Schermbeck, M. B. (Director). (2006). The Big Buy – Rise and Fall of Tom Delay [Motion Picture].

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