On October 19, 2021, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) sent a letter to members of the Waller County, Texas Commissioners Court regarding their obligation to comply with Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act and the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution during the 2021 redistricting cycle. Specifically, the Commissioners Court must ensure that any maps it adopts comply with the “One Person, One Vote,” mandate which requires equal access to representation at all levels of government, as well as Section 2’s “nationwide ban on racial discrimination in voting.” In addition to correcting any malapportionment problems stemming from demographic changes in Waller County between 2010 and 2020, the letter urges the Commissioners Court to take seriously its affirmative obligation to consider whether Section 2 demands that this body develop two out of its four single-member districts to be comprised of a majority—or at minimum, a substantial plurality—of Black and/or Latino voters to ensure that voters of color in Waller County have the opportunity to elect their preferred candidates. To meet these objectives, the Commissioners Court must ensure a transparent map-drawing process and provide meaningful opportunities for the public to testify and respond to any proposed maps before they are finalized or approved.
Along with the letter, LDF submitted two proposed redistricting maps (appx. A and appx. B) which comply with the U.S. Constitution, Section 2, and other governing laws and principles. The maps proposed by LDF go further in protecting the electoral opportunity of Waller County’s voters of color than the map proposed by the Commissioners Court.
Read the full letter here.
Learn more about LDF’s redistricting work in Texas and other key states here.
Founded in 1940, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) is the nation’s first civil and human rights law organization. LDF has been completely separate from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) since 1957—although LDF was originally founded by the NAACP and shares its commitment to equal rights. LDF’s Thurgood Marshall Institute is a multi-disciplinary and collaborative hub within LDF that launches targeted campaigns and undertakes innovative research to shape the civil rights narrative. In media attributions, please refer to us as the NAACP Legal Defense Fund or LDF. Follow LDF on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.