Texas challenges one-person, one-vote rule

The Supreme Court agreed on Tuesday to hear a case from Texas challenging one-person, one-vote.

The one-person, one-vote rule was decided in the 1964 Supreme Court Case Reynolds v. Sims and requires electoral districts to be drawn according to total population in a district with the idea that political power will be shared equally.

The Project on Fair Representation is bringing the challenge to the total population rule and want to see districts formed around the total number of eligible voters instead.

Edward Blum, the of The Project on Fair Representation believes that total eligible voters is a better metric to use for one-person, one-vote instead of total population.

“This case presents the court with the opportunity to restore the important principle of one-person, one-vote to the citizens of Texas and elsewhere,” Blum said.

The shift from total population to the total number of eligible voters would shift political power away from urban to more rural areas. Urban areas tend to have higher immigrant populations, and a higher percentage of people either too young to vote, or non-voters.

The drawing of electoral maps has been a growing problem in Texas and across the U.S. with frequent gerrymandering being used to create districts perpetually locked for one party, or another.

This chart posted in February explains the problem that gerrymandering poses to our democracy.

How_to_Steal_an_Election_-_Gerrymandering.svg

Photo credit: Stephen Nass.

One reason that the Supreme Court is taking up the one-person, one-vote case is to clarify the rules on the creating of electoral districts and end issues caused by gerrymandering.

 

[The Washington Post]