Texas Republicans’ plan to reduce polling stations in areas with higher proportion of voters of color: analysis
A proposal by Texas Republicans to change the distribution of polling stations on election day would reduce the number of voting options for areas with a higher percentage of voters of color, according to analysis by the Texas Tribune .
The bill would create a new formula for the way polling stations are set and would primarily affect Democratic counties with more than one million people, the Tribune reports. The bill would require countries to distribute polling stations based on the number of registered voters in a county’s State House district.
According to the proposed changes, the five largest counties in Texas would be affected: Harris, Dallas, Tarrant, Bexar and Travis. Collin County could also be affected based on census figures released this year, the Tribune notes.
According to the Tribune’s analysis, the bill would only reduce the number of polling stations in districts represented by Democrats. It would remove 73 polling stations in 13 House districts represented by Democrats and redistribute them across seven districts represented by Republicans and two districts represented by Democrats.
According to the Tribune, districts that would lose polling stations are all represented by people of color and have a significantly higher share of voters of color compared to districts that would gain polling stations.
Districts represented by Democrats tend to have fewer registered voters, the Tribune notes, as districts represented by Democrats tend to have more people of color who are not eligible to vote.
District 141, where about 86 percent of voting-age citizens are black or Hispanic, would lose the most seats at age 11. The district is represented by Democrat Senfronia Thompson.
House District 132, where white citizens make up about 46% of the eligible population, would gain 18 polling stations, the most of any other district. The district is represented by Republican Mike Schofield.
Rural areas, most of which are controlled by Republicans, would not be affected by the stricter rules for the distribution of polling stations, reports the Tribune.
The media outlet notes that counties generally take into account other factors besides the number of eligible voters when considering the distribution of polling stations, such as counties most likely to vote by mail as well as convenience and traffic. .