Fort Bend County, Texas, is preparing for its first primary election since Governor Abbott approved new redistricting maps last fall, raising questions about the impact of gerrymandering on politics in the county. Gerrymandering is a practice of manipulating electoral boundaries to benefit a particular political party or group. It has been used to divide suburban communities of color in places like Fort Bend County, where the state's largest Asian-American population resides. The part of Fort Bend that occupied District 22 was linked to the rural, whiter and traditionally conservative counties of Wharton and Matagorda, located to the south and west.
This was done to weaken the voting power of people of color in the area. Districts such as the 22nd in Fort Bend County and the 24th in the suburbs of Dallas-Fort Worth eventually became political battlegrounds in the last election cycle, when multiracial coalitions joined forces. This was a result of gerrymandering, which had previously been used to suppress minority voting power. The consequences of gerrymandering have been far-reaching in Fort Bend County.
It has caused a decrease in voter turnout, as many people feel their votes do not count due to the manipulation of electoral boundaries. It has also led to an increase in political polarization, as people are more likely to vote along party lines when they feel their votes will not make a difference. Gerrymandering has also had an effect on local issues such as flood mitigation, air pollution, coal power plants, and water pump. These issues have been overshadowed by partisan politics due to gerrymandering.
The effects of gerrymandering have been felt throughout Fort Bend County and beyond. It has had a detrimental impact on politics in the county and has resulted in decreased voter turnout and increased political polarization. It is essential for citizens to be aware of how gerrymandering can affect their lives and take action to ensure their voices are heard.