Press Releases

Long Voting Lines in Texas Highlight Immediate Need to Pass the For the People Act

Mar 04, 2020

The For the People Act (H.R. 1/S. 949) and the Voting Rights Advancement Act (H.R.4) would restore critical protections of the Voting Rights Act

Texas has closed 750 polling locations since Shelby County v. Holder

Let America Vote (LAV) President Tiffany Muller released the following statement in response to long voting lines in Texas on Super Tuesday that blocked access to the ballot:

“The long voting lines in Texas last night were the result of a coordinated and calculated effort to suppress the right to vote, specifically targeting communities of color. Senator John Cornyn, who benefits from voter suppression, has contributed to this assault on Texans’ constitutional rights by siding with Mitch McConnell and refusing to bring the For the People Act and the Voting Rights Advancement Act up for a vote. The immediate need to pass the For the People Act and restore critical components of the Voting Rights Act is abundantly clear. It would end illegal practices and intimidation tactics that are designed to dissuade voters from participating in their democracy. Guaranteeing every Americans’ access to the ballot is a fundamental right and we must pass these bills to achieve that.”

According to a study conducted by The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human rights, “five of the six largest closers of polling places are in Texas.” The report also reveals that Texas, which has a population of 39% Latinos and 12% African Americans, has closed 750 polling locations since the Shelby County v. Holder decision – the most of any state in the country covered by the study.

Provisions in the For the People Act (H.R. 1/ S. 949) would restore critical protections in the Voting Rights Act, remove the restrictions of voter ID laws, provide funding to the U.S. Postal Service to cover postage for mail-in ballots, and make colleges and universities voter registration agencies. Additional provisions would modernize voter registration, help ensure voter access, and prevent deceptive practices and voter intimidation.

The Voting Rights Advancement Act (H.R. 4) would restore the full protections of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 by establishing a policy to determine which states must make changes to their voting procedures pre-cleared by the Department of Justice. Where a threat of racial discrimination is present, it will give the Attorney General the authority to request federal observers to oversee voting.