Editor's note: The next Latino in America documentary anchored by Soledad O’Brien focuses on Latino voters. Click the Latino in America tag below or follow @cnnlia for more updates on other Latino in America stories. This is the third part of a CNN In America documentary series on American voters. Airing October 2012.
By Robert Howell, CNN
(CNN) - Redrawing Congressional voting district maps is never easy. But in Texas, in the midst of this election year, the already contentious process has been made even more volatile with its mix of race and politics.
When 2010 Census numbers showed that Texas’s population had grown enough to gain four new congressional seats, the process of drawing new maps began. U.S. Representative Charlie Gonzalez, also the chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, says with nearly 70% of Texas’s population growth coming from Latinos, he and others in the community had hoped to see a proportional amount of “Latino opportunity districts” in the new plan.
The early maps–created by the Republican-controlled state legislature–left many Democratic lawmakers and minority groups unsatisfied—so much so that they sued in federal court to have the maps redrawn. The protracted fight has caused national ripples as well. The presidential primary has been pushed back twice.
After months of legal wrangling, the case was finally settled late last month by a federal court in San Antonio, but not everyone is happy with the results.
“In this case, the racial gerrymandering, this is probably the worst in 50 years.” That is how lawyer Luis Vera sums up the disputed maps that have come out of the redistricting battle in Texas. FULL POST