Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee Calls Upon Department of Justice to Take Action to Prevent ‘Waller County Outrage’
Style Magazine Newswire | 10/12/2018, 8:45 a.m.
Washington, DC - Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, a senior member of the House Committees on Judiciary, Homeland Security, and Budget, and the Ranking Member on the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security and Investigations, released the following statement regarding the outrage in Waller County, Texas:
“The plan announced by Waller County, Texas election officials to impose additional and unreasonable burdens that on students of Prairie View A&M University (PVAMU), one of the nation’s great Historically Black Colleges and Universities, will have the foreseeable effect of diminishing the rights of PVAMU students, who are already registered to vote, to exercise their franchise and have their votes counted in violation of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the 26th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
“Since PVAMU students reasonably and justifiably relied upon the guidance and instructions provided by the Waller County Elections Administrator, law and equity compel the conclusion that current Waller County Elections officials are estopped from asserting that these PVAMU students are not lawfully registered voters. In addition, requiring PVAMU students to complete and submit a “change of address” or “statement of residency” in order to cast a ballot on Election Day unduly dilutes the voting power of the PVAMU community, a large majority of which is comprised of racial and ethnic minorities. This is because the time and inconvenience of requiring the completion and submission of another governmental form will entail significant delays and diversion of election administration personnel during voting hours, which will inevitably result in longer lines and extended waiting times, all of which may discourage or prevent registered voters from casting ballots.
“What is happening in Waller County, Texas appears to part of an ongoing campaign of abusing state election law to disenfranchise minority voters, which is why I am calling upon the U.S. Department of Justice to take appropriate action immediately to enjoin elections administration officials for Waller County, Texas from implementing their announced plan to impose additional and unreasonable burdens that on the students of Prairie View A&M University who are and have registered to vote and cast their ballots.”