Reminder: The research criteria is 2-3 scholarly sources (articles from peer-reviewed academic journals), plus supplemental sources (from credible outlets) for current events. Always identify your
Reminder: The research criteria is 2-3 scholarly sources (articles from peer-reviewed academic journals), plus supplemental sources (from credible outlets) for current events. Always identify your sources with both in the body of the text and with a formal citation at the end of your posting. The minimum writing requirement must be met and exceeded using your own words (do not include cited information in your word count). Full instructions are available under the “Discussion Forums” tab.
The “You Decide” section in Chapter 3 discusses the issues of voting rights and redistricting. After the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the formula in the Voting Rights Act that was used to decide which localities were subject to preclearance, Texas and other southern states were suddenly free to enact changes in voting and redistricting that they had previously been unable to enforce. Within 24 hours of the ruling, Texas sought to implement a voter ID provision that had been on hold due to preclearance. It wasn’t the only state to do so.
Since this decision, Texas and other states have enacted changes to voting practices that would first take effect in the 2014 midterm elections and the 2016 presidential election. In the summer of 2016, federal courts required Texas to allow voters to sign affidavits attesting to their inability to acquire approved identification and to cast ballots in the 2016 presidential election. However, questions over voting rights and redistricting remain.
1. Part of Texas’s justification for voter identification laws and redistricting is that it is partisan (i.e., directed toward advantaging Republicans over Democrats), not based on race. However, members of racial and ethnic minorities in Texas are more likely to identify as Democrats. Do you think these changes to voting are motivated more by partisan political behavior or by race? Do you think that the racial and partisan claims can be separated? Why or why not?
2. In the 2016 election, do you think these changes made a difference in Texas? Why or why not?
3. Should the federal government intervene in issues of voting rights and redistricting, or should this be a state matter? Why?
4. As Texas becomes more diverse and a new census approaches in 2020, how do you think demographic changes will affect issues of voting rights and redistricting?
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