DETROIT (AP) — Lawmakers in several states are debating precisely how many Black voters are needed in a legislative district to ensure they can elect the representative they want.

It may sound like an esoteric question but it could have major ramifications in Congress and state legislatures.

That’s because Black voters — and sometimes other minorities — have traditionally been crammed into single districts to ensure they get to exercise their right to choose a representative under federal law.

But that makes surrounding areas whiter and, often, more Republican.

Now some Democrats and redistricting groups want to scatter African American voters more widely.