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| |-+  Political Geography & Demographics (Moderator: muon2)
| | |-+  Could a state count 16 & 17 year olds when determining VRA VAP compliance?
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Author Topic: Could a state count 16 & 17 year olds when determining VRA VAP compliance?  (Read 249 times)
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« on: January 18, 2019, 02:33:19 pm »

Like suppose a District would be legally required as being 50% + 1 Black VAP to fulfill the requirements of the VRA. However, a state has a way they could draw a District that was compact that only had the Black VAP population at say 49.9%. However, say in the same District, that the figure rises above 50% + 1 when 16 and 17 year olds are counted in the VAP figure. There would definitely be a reasonable case that they can count, considering:

1. The census and redistricting in done in years ending in 0.
2. The 1st election under th new districts are held in years ending in 2.

Therefore, by the time the 1st elections are held in the new District, the people considered 16 and 17 year olds by the census would be 18 and 19 year olds, and would therefore be eligible to vote throughout the entire decade, and not miss a single election held under the new lines.

So basically, would courts allow a state to count 16 and 17 year olds as part of the voting age population in redistricting if the state wanted to draw districts that way when they would become part of the voting age population by the time election would start being held in those new lines?
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« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2019, 03:54:33 pm »

I doubt it, unless (for some reason) that was the only way a VRA district could be drawn. 
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muon2
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« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2019, 04:38:13 pm »

The standard in court is whether a district is likely to elect the candidate of choice of the minority. If a state allowed 17 year olds to vote, then those would show up in election returns use to analyze the electability of the candidate of the minority's choice. If the district is over 50% xCVAP there is a presumption that the district would comply, but districts have survived challenges with less than 50% xCVAP by showing that coalitions with other minorities or white crossovers would usually result in success for the principal minority group (x).

There's a separate question as to whether a VRA district must be drawn. In that case the Gingles factors are used, one of which requires that a compact area with over 50% xCVAP exists. In that case other minorities or crossovers are not used to determine if a VRA district must be drawn. Also, if a district must be drawn in an area with over 50% xCVAP, the district can be less than 50% xCVAP as long as it remains likely to elect the candidate of choice of the principal minority.
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