Select ONE of the following topics to answer for Writing Assignment 1. The writing assignment should be a minimum of 750 words. You should find much of the information you need to complete the assignment in the textbook, but you may also need to use additional sources (such as news articles or government websites). Make sure to provide a citation for all sources used in your paper. See the Writing Assignment Instructions for more information.
o Explain how the population has changed in Texas and how it is projected to change in the future. (Hint: Look at the charts and graphs in Chapter 1.) In what ways might Texas’ politics change in the future based on its racial and ethnic makeup? Based on the population growth, urbanization, and economic transformation of the last two decades, how might Texas change in the next two decades? Which areas will grow in population, and what might Texas’ government have to do to respond to that growth? (Be specific)).
o After reading Chapter 4, review “Texas and the Nation: How Republican is Texas?”, which shows how Texas compares to other states in terms of how many residents identify as Republicans. Is Texas where you thought it would be on the graph? Why or why not? Recalling information from Chapter 1 on the changing demographics of Texas, how might the state’s position on the graph change over the next 20 years? With only 42% of Texas’s population identifying as Republicans, what explains Republicans holding all statewide offices and a majority of the Texas House, Texas Senate, and delegation to the U.S. House of Representatives?
o According to Chapter 5 of the textbook, what are some of the historical and more recent barriers to voting in Texas? (Be specific) What accounts for the low level of voter participation in Texas? What can be done to increase voter participation? (Specifically, discuss at least two policy proposals that election officials could adopt.) After the 2020 election, state legislatures controlled by Republicans (including the Texas Legislature) have been debating and passing election reforms. Counties are in charge of administering elections in Texas. What were some of the proposed changes to election laws in Texas in 2021 and how would they impact a county’s ability to administer elections? Do you think these changes pose undue restrictions on the ability of Texans to vote?