Redistricting Tool Box
- 2020 Public Input Hearings Schedule
- Redistricting Background PDF & Powerpoint
- Redistricting Public Input Hearings PDF & Powerpoint
- Guide to writing testimony for the Redistricting Public Input Hearings.
- Request a Notice of Public Input Hearings for Redistricting
- Pass a Local Resolution
New District Maps To Be Drawn After 2020 Census
Every ten years, the federal government has the obligation to count every person in the United States and where they live. It does this through the census. The next census will be compiled in 2020. Each state is then given its population numbers. Once we know how many people live in Texas, the State will start the redistricting process. That is, it will draw new district lines that will impact state and congressional representation.
Public Input Hearings Schedule
Please consider attending your local public input hearing to let your state legislators know how important your community is to you. Use our Guide to Writing testimony for the Redistricting Public Input Hearings.
A schedule of all public hearing locations and dates can be found here: Schedule for Texas House and Senate Public Input Redistricting Meetings
The Texas Legislature will hold public hearings throughout the state, and through your public testimony, you can influence how it will draw district boundaries. Speaking up about your community is critical in ensuring that district lines are drawn to keep your community whole and grouped with nearby communities with similar, shared interests (community of interest).
What is a “Community of Interest”?
A Community of Interest (COI) is a geographically connected population which shares common social and economic interests.
Examples of such shared interests are:
- Those common to areas such as urban, rural, industrial, or agricultural; as well as geographical such as rivers, mountains, coastal, inland, watershed, etc.
- Those common to areas in which the people share similar living standards, use the same transportation facilities, have similar work opportunities, or have access to the same media of communication relevant to the election process; as well as shared common goals.
Redistricting Process in Brief
- The Texas Legislature, comprised of your state senators and representatives, has the first opportunity to draw and adopt district boundaries by filing redistricting bills.
- Census data will be received by the state in February, 2021, and all bills must meet the 60-day bill filing deadline of March 12, 2021.
- Senate and House redistricting bills traditionally originate in their respective houses, but Congressional and State Board of Education district bills may be introduced in either or both houses.
- Redistricting bills follow the same path through the legislature as other legislation, including having public hearings.
- If the house or senate redistricting bill fails to pass or is vetoed by the governor and the veto is not overridden by the legislature, the Legislative Redistricting Board is required to meet within 90 days of the end of the regular session.
- The Legislative Redistricting Board is composed of the lieutenant governor, speaker of the house, attorney general, comptroller, and commissioner of the general land office.
- In 1981 and 2001 the Legislative Redistricting Board was convened to draw the Texas House and Senate legislative maps.
What Criteria Guides the Texas Legislature In Drawing District Maps?
The United States and Texas Constitutions give the Legislature specific prioritized criteria in drawing district maps:
- Draw districts with equal population, based on the U.S. Constitution.
- Comply with the federal Voting Rights Act, to ensure minority voters have an equal opportunity to elect candidates of their choice.
- Draw districts that are contiguous, so that a district is connected at all points.
- For State House Districts, county lines may not be crossed if the county holds enough population to contain the district(s).
The overarching intent: One Person, One Vote - districts must be drawn in a manner that neither has the purpose nor will have the effect of denying or abridging the right to vote on the basis of race, color, or language group.
The Texas Legislature also uses partisan data to draw the district lines, taken from election data of both the state's primary and general elections. This allows legislators to choose voters based on party affiliation and how likely they are to vote in an election.
For more information:
The Texas Legislative Council, a nonpartisan legislative agency, provides technical and legal support to the Texas Legislature for redistricting. It has a website on redistricting where more detailed information about redistricting can be found, such as the process and history. Go to https://redistricting.capitol.texas.gov