Feds sue Galveston County alleging redistricting plan impacts voters of color

A lawsuit filed against Galveston County alleges its redistricting plans for the area impact Black and Hispanic voters.  

According to a press release, the Justice Department filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas under Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act against Galveston County, challenging the redistricting plan for its commissioner's court. 

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The redistricting plan was adopted by the county in November 2021, however, the complaint argues it has discriminatory results, "denying Black and Hispanic citizens an equal opportunity to participate in the political process." 

"This action is the latest demonstration of the Justice Department’s commitment to protecting the voting rights of all Americans, particularly during the current redistricting cycle," said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke for the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. "Our complaint alleges that Galveston County has violated Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act by devising a redistricting plan that dismantles the only district in which Black and Hispanic voters had the opportunity to elect a candidate of choice to the county’s governing body. We will continue to use all available tools to challenge voting discrimination in our country."


Additionally, the complaint states the county "deliberately reconfigured the Commissioners Court’s sole, longstanding minority opportunity-to-elect district to eliminate Black and Hispanic voters’ opportunity to elect a representative of their choice." It also alleges the county has over the past 30 years "on several occasions sought to diminish or eliminate electoral opportunities for the county’s Black and Hispanic voters."

"The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Texas is committed to protecting the voting rights of all of our citizens," added U.S. Attorney Jennifer B. Lowery for the Southern District of Texas. "We are pleased to join the Civil Rights Division in bringing this important lawsuit under the Voting Rights Act."

While the lawsuit continues, the U.S. complaint is asking the court to prohibit Galveston Co. from continuing elections and order it to set up and implement a new redistricting plan that complies with the Voting Rights Act. 

For additional information, click here.  can also read the full lawsuit by clicking here.