A close-up view of redistricting

Denton Record Chronicle — Dione Harbour has to be careful when she opens the front door to her east Denton home. Her small dog Max Jr. has been known to duck past her legs, bolt across Mockingbird Lane and end up in a neighbor’s yard.

What Harbour (and certainly Max Jr.) didn’t know is when the dog crosses Mockingbird, he also crosses a boundary line that splits the neighborhood into different state Senate and City Council voting districts.

“That’s bizarre,” Harbour said when she found out  her neighbors across the street have a different state senator and City Council member than she does.

State Sen. Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, represents Harbour and her neighbors on the east side of Mockingbird Lane in District 12. Keely Briggs represents them in District 2 on the City Council.

Across the street, state Sen. Craig Estes, R-Wichita Falls, represents the neighbors on the west side of Mockingbird in District 30. Kevin Roden represents them in Denton’s District 1.

Mockingbird Lane is a symbol of an arcane political science called reapportionment, or redistricting. Every 10 years, politicians in Austin convene to draw new boundaries for congressional districts, state Senate and state House districts. Put a microscope on Mockingbird, and you can learn a lot more about why we vote at a certain location and for certain candidates.

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