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When the Texas Legislature meets next year, lawmakers are expected to take on the complicated and contentious process of redistricting — the decennial redrawing of maps for the state’s congressional, legislative and State Board of Education boundaries.
Who you can elect at the national, statewide and even local levels depends on which district you live in. And the way those district maps are drown often decides which party controls the national and state legislative bodies— and the maps will remain in use for as long as 10 years. Politicians have the power to group voters in a way will give them a partisan advantage as long as they are not discriminating on the basis of race.
Next year, Republicans will control that process. But the mapmaking will be complicated and challenging, given the state's recent demographic shifts, the inevitable legal battles, Texas' long history of voter suppression and the fact that it will be happening in the middle of a pandemic.
Here’s what you need to know about redistricting and how it will affect you for the next decade.
How it works in Texas
Every 10 years, a U.S. census is conducted to count every resident in the country. After that, state and local governments use the new population data to draw new congressional and state legislative maps.
The point is to draw roughly equally populated districts to reflect population growth and guarantee equal voter representation.