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'A Stain on Our Democracy': Texas Democrats File Suit to Stop GOP Voter Suppression Efforts

"We need to fight back in the courts and at the ballot box."

Texas voters could have less options for polling places if a new Republican state law is upheld. Democrats in the state have filed suit to strike it down.

Texas voters could have less options for polling places if a new Republican state law is upheld. Democrats in the state have filed suit to strike it down. (Photo: Barron Ludlum/Yahoo)

Democrats filed suit Wednesday in Texas to stop a Republican law that would curtail mobile voting sites in the state, claiming that the legislation is aimed at suppressing the vote and keeping Texas firmly in the hands of the GOP.

In a statement, Texas Democratic Party Chair Gilberto Hinojosa said that the Republican law is a stopgap attempt at delaying the inevitable demographic changes in Texas that could turn control of the state to Democrats.

"Texas Republicans ending mobile voting is their latest attempt to curb the Democratic rise in the state and steal an election from the rising Texas electorate," said Hinojosa "Republicans know Texas is changing, that’s why they're trying to change the rules to make it harder for college students, seniors, the disability community, rural Texans, and survivors of natural disasters to cast their ballots."

The suit (pdf), which was filed by the Texas Democratic Party, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC), and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), targets HB 1888, which effectively bans temporary voting sites, a change to Texas law that would make voting more difficult for marginalized communities. 

According to The Texas Tribune:

The use of temporary early voting sites dates back more than a decade in some parts of the state. Counties used them to reach smaller, more rural communities or to bring early voting to various college campuses within a county. Others relied on mobile voting sites to provide a window of early voting at hospitals or government buildings that couldn’t host a permanent site or at senior living facilities where residents face increased mobility issues.

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"We need to fight back in the courts and at the ballot box," said Mike Siegel, a Democratic candidate for Congress in Texas' 10th District. "Voter suppression is a stain on our democracy."

Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) and Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-Ill.), leaders of the DSCC and DCCC, respectively, both referred to the turnout in Texas during the 2018 midterms as the likely reason for the Republican law. 

"The gains Texas made in boosting turnout prove that when we remove obstacles to voting, more people cast their ballots—and that's a good thing," said Masto. 

Hinojosa said that the lawsuit will hopefully help more people to cast their votes. 

"Democracy thrives when everyone participates," said Hinojosa.

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