A group of students at a historically black university in Texas is suing county officials for not providing enough early voting locations on campus, saying they are discriminating against students based on their race and age.
The five students at Prairie View A&M University filed the lawsuit in federal court in Houston on Monday, the first day of early voting for the 2018 midterm elections in the state. It noted that election officials had failed to establish a single early voting location on campus during the entire first week the polls are open. While there is early voting on campus during the second week, it’s only for three days and ends at 5 p.m. There is additional early voting at a community center, but the lawsuit alleges that’s not a place students regularly visit. There’s also no early voting during the weekends in Prairie View.
The suit says the limited early voting in Prairie View, home to Prairie View A&M and where 79 percent of the voting-age population is black, is illegal because nearby towns in the county with more voters who are white and less who are ages 18 to 21 have more early voting opportunities. They say the county’s early voting locations violate the Voting Rights Act as well as the 14th, 15th and 26th amendments, the last of which guarantees the right to vote to anyone over 18.