Voting In Texas: What Are the Stakes

Texas is one of the largest states in the union in multiple ways. It is currently the second largest state in terms of size and population. As a result of its mass, Texas has a large amount of political capital in the United States of America. Texas has 36 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives and 38 electoral votes, and the state’s influence will only continue to expand as it is one of the fastest growing states in the country. Six of the ten counties with the largest population growth between 2010 and 2019 are in Texas. Because of the state’s growth, it has been projected that three congressional seats will be added in 2021, and depending on how its population compares to the rest of the country, it could gain even more. Three more congressional seats would bring Texas’ total to 39 House seats and 41 total electoral votes, second only to California’s 53 seats and 55 electoral votes.

This is significant as Texas has been the country’s largest Republican stronghold for a generation. However, that monopoly may soon be challenged. While rumblings about Texas “going purple” have been around for years, there is reason to believe such change is possible in the near future.  Firstly, aside from Austin, the state has rapidly been shifting towards being a majority-minority state (meaning the state’s Latinx population will soon be larger than it’s white population). Minorities tend to favor the Democratic party. Secondly, many of the Texas’ voters have moved from expensive liberal cities like New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Chicago. These shifting demographics, and their implications for fight for power in the Lone Star State, are the backdrop to our research on voting rights and voting access in Texas.