By Emily Banks Wooten
Newly-drawn House and Senate districts have been signed into law by Governor Greg Abbott. The redistricting process happens every 10 years after new census data is released. The new districts will be used for the first time in next year’s primary and general elections, barring any court interventions.
Legal battles have already begun, with one early lawsuit raising various claims that the new districts unfairly and illegally discriminate against voters of color. Additional legal challenges are expected.
Previously, Polk County was in House District 19, along with Hardin, Jasper, Newton and Tyler counties. Moving forward, Polk County will no longer be aligned with Hardin, Jasper and Newton counties, but will be in House District 9, along with Tyler, Trinity, Houston, Angelina and San Augustine counties.
Regarding the Texas Senate, Polk County was previously in Senate District 3, along with Anderson, Angelina, Cherokee, Hardin, Henderson, Houston, Jasper, Nacogdoches, Newton, Sabine, San Augustine, San Jacinto, Shelby, Trinity and Tyler counties and parts of Montgomery and Smith counties.
Polk County will continue to be in Senate District 3, which is losing San Jacinto, Montgomery and Smith counties, and is picking up Liberty and Orange counties and part of Jefferson County. So, the new Senate District 3 will comprise Henderson, Anderson, Cherokee, Nacogdoches, Shelby, San Augustine, Sabine, Jasper, Newton, Houston, Trinity, Polk, Tyler, Angelina, Liberty, Hardin and Orange counties and part of Jefferson County.