Texas Could Pick Up 3 Congressional Seats, Public Warns Against Gerrymandering

Chris Fox
September 11, 2019 - 12:17 pm
Texas Capitol building,

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AUSTIN (1080 KRLD) - 2020 Census projections show that Texas stands to be the big winner nationally.

Texas State Demographer Dr. Lloyd Potter testified before the State House Redistricting Committee on Tuesday that the State has grown 14 percent over the past decade putting the population just under 30 million. According to Potter this means the State should gain US Congressional seats.

"With this trend it looks like, and there are a number of people that are kind of doing the number crunching on this, but it looks like we’re set to gain three seats" said Potter. "You can see California hasn’t been growing as fast and it looks like potentially they have net-out domestic migration that they may even lose a seat."

Potter said adding the three Congressional seats aren’t the only way Texas stands to benefit from the population growth. "It’s also important in terms of the number of Electoral College votes that we get. And then it’s also important…the amount of money that Texas gets back from the Federal Government is dependent on the number of people that are living in the State."

There is a George Washington University report that estimates that even a 1-percent undercount could result in $300 million of federal funding lost for Texas every year till the following census count next decade.

The vast majority of the Redistricting Committee hearing was taken up by open testimony of Texans asking the members to put an end to the practice of gerrymandering, or re-drawing the election maps to favor a political party.

Bill King is one of those who testified, "Having a partisan legislature draw election districts let the politicians pick their voters - that is not Democracy. Gerrymandering puts a thumb on the scale and distorts the process."

High School Graduate Josh LeFare and his sister even created an anti-gerrymandering board game they sent to the committee chairs. LeFare testified before the committee saying, "I’m begging during this redistricting cycle to draw maps fairly, don’t draw them like you are trying to win a board game.