HNBA Guide to Redistricting

The HNBA Guide to Redistricting: Preserving and Promoting Latino Voting Rights Under Section 2 and Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act

The most recent report was updated in September 2011. Click here to download it.

 

OVERVIEW

The HNBA Guide to Redistricting: Preserving and Promoting Latino Voting Rights Under Section 2 and Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act provides an online resource for HNBA affiliates and attorney members to protect Latino voting rights during the current redistricting cycle and to ensure that Latinos have an equal and fair opportunity to participate in the political process

Redistricting is the process by which political power is reallocated amongst voting districts. Based on decennial population measures from the U.S. Census Bureau, every ten years states redraw their political boundaries for every level of government in which officials are elected from voting districts. This involves redrawing the political boundaries for every political body from the United States House of Representatives to local school boards.

During the redistricting process minority voters are especially threatened by majority group and partisan interests. Given the unprecedented Latino population growth during the 2010 Census, it is more important than ever to make sure that new voting districts do not have a discriminatory effect on Latino political participation. To this end, local HNBA affiliates and attorney members play a vital role in safeguarding the future of Latino political influence.

The guide provides a tool to help advocates examine how the redistricting process affects Latinos in their communities, evaluate potential claims, and limit the costs of preparing for litigation. Although future revisions may address other areas of law, the most recent guide provides step-by-step processes for evaluating claims under Section 2 and Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 1973. These provisions are designed to ensure that minority voters are not denied equal and fair representation in the political process.

The guide is a work-in-progress. As the redistricting cycle progresses, unique demographic characteristics and population growth will undoubtedly present new challenges for advocates seeking to ensure that Latino rights are protected. HNBA affiliates and attorney members are encouraged to reproduce and share the guide, and to provide feedback and suggestions for future updates.

 

Please send any comments or suggestions to HNBA Voting Section Chair Joaquin G. Avila at avilaj@seattleu.edu or HNBA Voting Rights Fellow Juan Carlos Ibarra at ibarra.juancarlos@gmail.com.