One Person, One Vote? The Supreme Court Might Disagree
The Supreme Court might soon forbid states from counting non-voters when drawing legislative districts, reducing the political power of hispanics.By Ben Levin | June 3, 2015
One person One vote — it's a cornerstone of American democracy, but a surprisingly thorny concept the Supreme Court is set to rule on this year in a decision that could have a huge effect on the voting power of hispanics.
The case is Evenwel v. Abbott, and it has to do with how states draw legislative districts. Cities get small districts, rural areas get big districts, but each must have the same amount of people. If one district had less people than another, votes there would carry more weight — violating the principle that every person's vote should matter the same.
But here's the problem: Who counts as a "person?" Conservatives, who engineered the lawsuit, think you should only count U.S. citizens of voting age when drawing districts — basically, all potential voters. The other side thinks districts should be drawn so they contain an equal amount of people — regardless of how many of those people can vote.