Since voting has existed, it has been controlled. Once the Civil War was over, previous slaves were now “citizens”. Citizens who weren’t allowed access to certain healthcare, neighborhoods, schools, and restaurants. The familiarity of the segregation was widely known and accepted. However, certain southern states took it further by implementing “literacy” test in order to vote. With the Black community lacking in education, it was impossible test to pass. This test had questions to do task such as: “Draw a figure that is square in shape. Divide it in half by drawing a straight line from its northeast corner to its southeast corner, and then divid it once more by drawing a broken line from the middle of its western side to the middle of its eastern side.” There were also poll taxes, which means those living in poverty couldn’t vote. They created a legal system in which the those who were not White, rich, or educated, could not vote. These laws did not change until the Voting Rights Act was passed in 1965.
Racism did not just magically disappear in 1965, it changed, it evolved, and it went into hiding. Each Congressional district represents one vote for an electoral college. Whomever is voted in as electoral college represents that state in the senate, and votes for the state in Presidential Election. Every 10 years when the census is finished, district lines are redrawn to ensure each district has an equal population. However it has been proven that politicians have redrawn district lines to segregate minorities and whites, in order to gain easier votes and win the district.
It was just ruled in Federal court, April of this year, that in 2011 three of the congressional districts in Texas were illegally drawn, by using race as leading factor of how the lines were drawn. One would ask, how or could this have effect the 2016 Presidential election, since this was ruled after race? And why is the 2016 election so important for Texas? 2016 was the first year that that Texas could have turned possibly into a Blue State(democratic), since Regan. This was due to the high Hispanic registered voters population. Because Texas has high number of electoral votes, its one of the most important states in the Presidential election. In theory, if Texas were to vote democratic and all the other states stayed the same, the Democratic candidate would win.
To answer previously mentioned question, if this could have affected the 2016 election, there isn’t an answer. The data doesn’t exist yet. However, we can refer to some old data from 2015 of the registered voters in Texas. In the map below, it will help visualize how district lines can be strategically placed and altered. There is a clear pattern of which there are districts that have more Hispanics and Blacks than, Whites. Some on to 4:1 Ratio. In district 10, there is a average total of 395,276 White registered voters, while there is only 92,052 Hispanics in comparison. In the district 30 they have an average of 1,895,838 Asian voters. While there is only 183,089 Whites. Congressional district 1 has a ratio of Whites to hispanics of three to one.
The pattern continues and cannot just be a coincidence. For years White people have been gentrifying neighborhoods and pushing the minorities out. By making their own communities unaffordable through raising rent. This has pre-grouped these communities to make it easier to redraw out district lines in a parties favor. As mentioned before, it allows politicians to gain votes easier and manipulate elections. Imaging the difference it would be to have 2 districts with more hispanics than whites. Versus, having one district that is all hispanic and another that is all White. If you are running for office and you target audience is White, this would work out for you. But is it fair? When it comes to representation quantity is the only thing that matters. When the lines are redrawn for manipulation, it changes the weight of citizens vote.