“in the hopes a judge will hit the pause button on a law they claim suppresses the youth vote”
Democrats are targeting Texas for 2020 and they’re getting help from their college supporters.
Texas College Democrats Aim to Bring More Voting Booths to Campuses by Suing Secretary of State
The Texas College Democrats have sued Secretary of State Ruth Hughs in the hopes a judge will hit the pause button on a law they claim suppresses the youth vote.
“College students across the state have traditionally relied on temporary polling locations to cast their votes,” the Texas College Democrats said in a statement. “HB 1888 has threatened the livelihood of civic engagement across Texas campuses.”
At the center of the lawsuit, which was filed Tuesday, is HB 1888, a recent law that requires all temporary polling places to be open for the entire length of early voting. This requirement, the lawsuit claims, is problematic for college voters because some campuses don’t have the resources to keep a polling place open for two full weeks.
Mobile voting sites at five schools, including the University of Texas at Arlington and Rice University, that were open to voters during the 2018 elections are no longer available in 2019, according to the lawsuit. This contributed to a decrease in voter turnout this year because college students lacked transportation to get to permanent polling locations, the suit says.
At the University of Texas at Austin, where a polling location was set up in 2018, voter turnout among registered students for the midterm elections was 42 percentage points higher than in 2014, according to the school. Kassie Phebillo, a doctoral student at UT Austin’s Moody College of Communication, credited the increase in voter engagement to student-led efforts to make voting easy and accessible.
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