Sunday, December 25, 2011

Texas Congressional Redistricting Plan is obviously discriminatory

The federal courts have again declared that Texas redistricting plans may be discriminatory.  A federal hearing will be in January to answer a question that seems rather easy to answer.  The 45% of Texans who are Anglo are already the majority in 64% (23) of the 36 congressional districts in Texas, even before there is an election!  Click here to see the approved PlanC185 map. Study the following data taken from the redistricting plan, PlanC185, approved by the Texas Legislature and signed by Governor Perry.

Click above image to enlarge.

The most valuable place to be in a new legislative district is in the group that represents just over 50% of the population.  You are on the winning side with the most efficient investment of votes from the people who agree with you. If you are in the group that is less than 50% of the population, like the 45% of Texans who are Anglo, you should be loosing the majority of the time, unless you control the redistricting process.  

If you are allocating "resources,"  in this case voting age population, you can make certain that the resources on "your side" are the most well used and those on the "other side" are neutralized or wasted.  Therefore avoid having the voting age population on "your side" go over 70%, and certainly never over 80%, as any votes beyond 51%, and certainly beyond 70%, are unnecessary.  Meanwhile, try to place the votes of the "other side" into the 30% and 40% range so that the maximum number of the oppositions votes are "neutralized," i.e. invested with no return. Look at the scatter chart above.  Compare where Texas Legislators allocated minority voting age populations and Anglo voting age populations.

Notice how the highest percentage Anglo population in any district is 77.1%, but there are 8 minority districts over that percentage, 7 of them over 80%!  That is the way to "pack" a district and get as many minority votes "out of the way" as possible in those districts where a minority majority is impossible to avoid.  Such packing also creates a district where the elected official will have a "free ride" and will not do the harder work needed to please voters back home when a district is balanced closer to 50%.

Notice in the scatter chart where the most blue Anglo diamonds collect.  It is in the very valuable area over 50%, and up to 70% population, where votes have the most power.  The minority majority districts are represented by the majority of red minority squares, 10 out of 13, are in the "packed" area above 70%, with 77% of minority majority districts in that area, and the large majority over 80%.   The remainder of the minority populations are placed in the "looser" percentages of the 30% and 40% ranges, just below 50%, so that as many minority votes as possible are "used up" in what would be loosing campaigns for candidates they may support.

What is the Texas Legislature trying to do?  What is really happening?

Such gerrymandering politicians have caused the legislative gridlock our nation is suffering from.  With such home districts, legislators on all sides of the aisle have little to fear relative to being re-elected.  They have had their voters selected for them. They can do anything they want in Washington, or nothing, and be re-elected. 

Some voters want to cure this problem with term limits.  The real issue is redistricting and compact districts.  Then the apathetic legislative behaviors due to automatic re-elections never start in the first place. Term-limits alone would only increase the potential for making legislative mis-behavior worse during the last term in office before a forced retirement.  Legislators should always be held accountable back home for their behavior in office.


  1. You should base your analysis on CVAP.

  2. There is a very solid legal reason, going back 100+ years, that Texas does not provide CVAP information on the redistricting web site. Everyone is counted in redistricting. The only time CVAP is used is in defending an illegal redistricting plan. Until then, we only use VAP. Again, are you denying that everyone is counted in redistricting?

  3. CVAP is Citizen Voting Age Population.

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