When your population grows, it makes sense to open more polling places, right? Unless, of course, most of that growth comes from minorities — then it’s imperative that you make it as tough as possible to find a place to vote. That’s become the norm in Texas, home to the cheating Astros.
UPDATE: It took Hervis Rogers nearly seven hours to vote. “I wasn’t going to let anything stop me,” he said. Unfortunately, not everyone is like Hervis. These intentionally managed inconveniences may leave a permanent bad taste for some. Not many people have seven hours they can spare in their busy days. Even on Election Day.
May as well let the entire state cheat
Between 2012- 2018, McLennan County closed 44% of its polling places despite a growth boom due primarily to a more than sixty percent increase in the black and Latinx population.
During that same period, Brazoria County closed almost 60% of its polling locations. Then their county clerk went all Trumpy on us and claimed the closures were inadvertent and wouldn’t happen again in 2020. Yes, we believe you!
A total coincidence!
Guess what? Between 2012 and 2018, the 50 counties that gained the most minority residents closed 542 polling sites (nearly 11 per county!). Now let’s compare apples to apples. The 50 counties that added the fewest black and Latinx residents closed just 34 sites – less than 1 per county!
No oversight, no representation
Back in olden times (okay, until 2013), for Texas (and eight other states) to suppress any votes… er, um… make any changes to their election systems, it had to be approved by the Department of Justice. But then the Supreme Court decided that oversight was dumb.
“The fact of the matter is that Texas is not a red state. Texas is a nonvoting state.”
“I’d be curious to know how many of the consolidation efforts were good faith efforts [to] … increase the number of options for a voter but also improve the kind of polling place that a particular voter may have voted in.”
What you can do
Offer to drive someone to the polls.