The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Anthony Gutierrez 512-621-9787

Super Tuesday in Texas: Why the Insanely Long Lines?


The Election Protection program in Texas was receiving reports of multi-hour wait times at poll sites all over Texas throughout the day yesterday. After polls closed, there were still people in line in a number of counties - Travis, Harris, Hay and several others - for hours. National media highlighted the story of Hervis Rogers, who waited in line for 7 hours to vote at Texas Southern University in Houston.

Following is a statement from Anthony Gutierrez, Common Cause Texas Executive Director:

"Long lines in any single county can happen for any number of reasons but multi-hour wait times all over the state point to a bigger systemic problem.

That problem, to put it bluntly, is that the people in power in state government have no interest in making it easier for Texans to vote.

I think you would have a hard time finding a local election official who doesn't wish they had more voting machines, staff and poll sites.

Most of the election administration issues we see in Texas, including long lines, could be fairly easily solved if the state would just provide additional resources to the counties.

You can get a clear sense of the anti-voting attitude of those in power by looking at the last few legislative sessions. Reforms that would encourage participation and increase convenience, like online voter registration or requiring poll sites on college campuses, rarely even get a hearing. Bills that would make it harder to register to vote or that erect new barriers to the ballot box seem to fly through the legislature.

It's time for Texas to stop erecting systemic barriers designed to limit participation and simply let Texas vote."

*Note: The Texas Election Protection monitors elections via volunteers at poll sites all over the state and the 866-OUR-VOTE hotline where lawyer and voting rights experts provide nonpartisan assistance to a range of problems.

To view this release online, click here.

Common Cause is a nonpartisan, grassroots organization dedicated to upholding the core values of American democracy. We work to create open, honest, and accountable government that serves the public interest; promote equal rights, opportunity, and representation for all; and empower all people to make their voices heard in the political process.

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