DOJ files voting rights lawsuit against Galveston County, challenging redistricting plan

The Department of Justice has filed a lawsuit against Galveston County, challenging its redistricting plan for the Commissioners Court.

The lawsuit was filed Thursday. This comes after Galveston County's plan was adopted on Nov. 12, 2021, following the data release from the 2020 census.

"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."

According to the complaint, the county's plan violates Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act because it has the discriminatory result of denying Black and Hispanic citizens an equal opportunity to participate in the political process and because the new map was adopted, in part with a discriminatory purpose, according to a release from the DOJ's office.

The complaint also alleges that over the past three decades, Galveston County has, on several occasions, sought to diminish or eliminate electoral opportunities for the county's Black and Hispanic voters, the department shared in a statement.

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