The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund (LDF) on Tuesday filed a federal lawsuit against election officials of Waller County, Texas, accusing them of voter discrimination.
The LDF claims that officials refused to provide any early voting location on the campus of Prairie View A&M University (PVAMU), a historically black university, during the first week of voting. “In general, the County has provided fewer early voting opportunities to PVAMU students who are one of the highest users of this opportunity as compared to other voters in Waller.”
LDF Deputy Director of Litigation Leah Aden said that Waller County has continually tried to suppress black voters since the ratification of the Twenty Sixth Amendment in 1971.
In keeping with this troubling pattern, Waller County officials have refused to come close to providing the same number of early-voting opportunities as they have to non-Black and non-student voters before next month’s election. LDF is hopeful that the court will order Waller County to fulfill its obligation to protect every voter’s rights under the Voting Rights Act and the U.S. Constitution.
The suit notes that in the majority-white city of Waller, voters have two early voting locations and overall 11 days of early voting. In contrast, PVAMU has no early voting locations during the first week, and only 3 early voting days on campus.
The suit was brought on behalf of five Prairie View A&M students, all registered voters and residents of Waller County.