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Tuesday, November 30, 2021

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After Texas redistricting, a look at how lines were redrawn


Texas went through another round of redistricting after the 2020 Census. | Juana Garcia/The Cougar

Texas went through another round of redistricting after the 2020 Census. | Juana Garcia/The Cougar

It’s likely that sometime in your pre-college education, you learned about redistricting. It’s a process that takes place every 10 years, but it determines who your representative is at the local, state and national levels. 

So, how did your district change this time around?

Breaking down redistricting

As the demographics of the country changes, so does the distribution of that population. That means that the density of a certain district, or an area with a representative, can change over time with migration across state borders and into the country itself. 

The data around the country’s population comes from the census, which you or another member of your household probably filled out during the 2020 Census period. 

The survey asked you questions like, “how many people live in your household?” or “what racial/ethnic background does each household member identify as?” 

Those questions are then turned into numbers and percentages by the Census Bureau and handed off to lawmakers in state legislatures. Lawmakers are then supposed to fairly redraw districts. 

How did your district change?

Looking at Texas as a whole, since the state’s population grew, there will be two new seats for the state in the U.S. House of Representatives — one in Austin, the other in Houston. That means Texan representation went from 36 representatives at the national level to 38. 

If you live on or near campus, your district didn’t change much at the national level. UH is still in the 18th U.S. congressional district, which is currently represented by longtime Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, a Democrat.

However, some parts of Humble were redrawn to be incorporated into this district.

In the Texas House of Representatives, nothing changed. UH is in District 147 and represented by Rep. Garnet F. Coleman. 

The same goes for the other side of the Texas Legislature, where in the Senate, UH still resides in District 13 represented by Sen. Borris Miles. The Census found that this senate district has a majority of Black voters, and the newly drawn map for this area stretches all the way to Missouri City. 

If you’d like to see how other districts change, check out Texas Tribune’s redistricting map tool.

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