League of Women Voters Urges U.S. Justice Department to Object

Washington, DC—The League of Women Voters of the United States has joined the League of Women Voters of Texas in urging Attorney General Eric Holder to reject the congressional redistricting plan submitted by the state of Texas on the grounds that it would disenfranchise minority voters and is in clear violation of the landmark Voting Rights Act.

“The Texas plan is by far the most extreme example of racial gerrymandering among all the redistricting proposals passed by lawmakers so far this year. This plan is blatantly designed to stifle the voices of minority voters in favor of locking in partisan gains,” said national League president Elisabeth MacNamara.  “The Department of Justice needs to unequivocally object to this plan and tell the state to start over.”

“Growth in minority communities over the last decade, according to the Census, accounts for ninety percent of the population shifts that afforded our state with an unparalleled four new congressional seats this year,” explained Texas League president Karen Nicholson.  “Instead of recognizing this, the plan passed by the legislature and signed by Governor Perry actually affords minorities with less electoral opportunity than they currently have.  This hostile back-stepping is not only manipulative; it’s also prohibited under the Voting Rights Act.” 

“Numbers don’t lie,” concluded Nicholson.  “Hard-working minority voters have changed the face of Texas over the past decade.  Our democracy needs to reflect that.” 

A significant number of individuals, and civil rights, civic, and community organizations including the League of Women Voters of Texas testified repeatedly that the congressional map was clearly designed to benefit lawmakers’ partisan interests while egregiously shortchanging minority voters and fracturing close-knit communities of interest.  

The Texas League testified at hearings of both the House Redistricting Committee and the Senate Select Redistricting Committee and is available for further comment upon request. Read the comment letter  or learn more at www.lwvtexas.org.  

 

Contact:  

LWVUS- Kelly Ceballos
(202) 263-1331; kceballos@lwv.org

LWV of Texas- Anita Privett
(512) 467-2674; advocacy@lwvtexas.org

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The League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan political organization, encourages the informed and active
participation of citizens in government and influences public policy through education and advocacy.