The Position in Brief:
Support for an Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission as the preferred redistricting body.
Support for a state redistricting process and standards that promote fair and effective representation with maximum opportunity for public scrutiny.
The League of Women Voters of Texas supports action to achieve an effective method for drawing boundaries for congressional and state legislative districts.
The League supports the formation of an autonomous, Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission following the decennial census with the initial responsibility of formulating a redistricting plan designating boundaries for the U.S. congressional districts and the state House and Senate districts.
Criteria and standards for drawing district boundaries include the following:
- Districts must be apportioned on the basis of equal population
- Districts must be geographical and contiguous
- Consideration must be given to ensuring that the districts be compact, that district lines coincide with boundaries of local political subdivisions, and that districts not be drawn to dilute the voting strength of minority populations or drawn with the intent to favor or disfavor a political party or incumbent
- Districts must not be apportioned on the basis of numbers of electors, but on total population (a qualified elector is any person eligible to vote in a state election in Texas; federal apportionment law is based on total population.)
The redistricting process must include:
- Specific time lines for the steps leading to adoption of the redistricting plan
- Public hearings on the plan proposed for adoption