Texas governor approves revised state voting maps by GOP

Republican Texas Governor. Greg Abbott, Republican Governor of Texas, signed Monday redrawn voting mapping that provides a safer route for the GOP's slipping majority. This leaves opponents hoping courts will block newly gerrymandered areas before they can be used in 2022 elections.

Texas governor approves revised state voting maps by GOP

According to a spokesperson for the governor, Abbott signed the maps Monday. The governor's office didn't make any announcement.

Federal lawsuits have been filed by civil rights groups against GOP mapmakers for allegedly disenfranchising Hispanics and Black residents, who are responsible for the state's rapid growth. Texas has added 4 million residents since 2010. However, Republicans have not added any new districts to the U.S. House map where Latinos are a majority.

The new maps conclude a contentious year in Texas over voting rights. This summer, Democrats fled the state to protest a massive overhaul of elections.

Before the Texas House's final vote on maps, Rafael Anchia, Democratic State Representative said that "the only way communities of color can receive justice is by going to the courts."

These newly signed maps end the state's once in a decade redistricting process, where lawmakers determine how Texas' almost 30 million residents are divided into political districts and who will be elected to represent them. Texas received two additional congressional seats in 2020's census. This increases the state’s already large political power.

The Mexican American Legislative Caucus of the state, which is dominated by Democrats, seeks documents to prove who was involved in the creation of the maps. Along with other voting and minority advocacy groups, the Mexican American Legal Defense Fund has also filed a separate lawsuit in federal court challenging the maps.

Census data show that more than 9 out of 10 new Texans over the past decade were people of color.

The maps were defended by Texas Republicans who claim that race was not considered, except when equal representation is preserved. Republican state senator Joan Huffman, who created the maps and heads the Senate Redistricting Committee said that they were drawn "blind to race" and were subject to scrutiny by a legal team for violations under the Voting Rights Act.

Texas has been required to defend redrawn districts lines in court since the Voting rights Act was implemented. However, this is the first time that a U.S. Supreme Court decision said Texas and other states with a history racial discrimination do not need to have maps scrutinized by the Justice Department before approval.

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