Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Voting in Waller County, Texas

More than 30 years ago, protests by students at Prairie View A&M led to a decision by the Supreme Court that allows students to register and vote in the communities where they attend school. In 2004, over 2,000 students protested the Waller County District Attorney who said students didn't qualify for voter registration because they didn't meet state residency standards. In 2006, more than 1,000 students were turned away from the polls because their voter registration card were not processed. Yesterday, more than 1,000 students with an additional 1,000 friends and supporters walked 7.3 miles from Prairie View to Hempstead to vote at the only early voting site available in the county. Waller County used to have 6 early voting locations but reduced this to the one at the courthouse. After the U.S. Dept. of Justice put pressure on county officials the decision was made to open up three new sites including one adjacent to Prairie View. Unfortunately, those sites were not available on Tuesday so the students decided to march to Hempstead to vote.
What a great example of democracy in action. Cheers to all the students and their supporters for standing up for their right to vote, despite all the attempts over the years by Waller County officials to stop them.

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