October 31, 2019/Media, Press

BREAKING: Texas Democratic Party, DSCC & DCCC File Lawsuit to Overturn Ban on “Mobile” Early Voting That Helped Turnout Surge in 2018

Mobile Voting Sites Serve Texans Living Near College & University Campuses & Without Reliable Access to Transportation 

In 2018, Turnout Rose 18 Percent Compared to Previous Midterms with Availability of Mobile Sites as Part of Early Voting Program; Youth Early Voting Rose 508 Percent Compared to 2014

Austin, TX — The Texas Democratic Party, Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee filed a lawsuit to overturn a ban on “mobile” early voting sites that serve Texans living near colleges and universities, and those without reliable access to transportation.

The restrictions were enacted as a part of HB 1888 and would reverse the rise in voter participation observed in the 2018 midterm elections, where turnout surged broadly and especially among youth voters compared to other midterms. In 2018, voter turnout rose by 18 percent over other midterm elections and the youth early vote rose by 508 percent compared to 2014 — a significant increase credited to early voting and the “mobile” or temporary sites that offered more voters the opportunity to cast their ballots.

Texas Democratic Party Chair Gilberto Hinojosa issued the following statement:

“Mobile voting is an essential pillar of making voting more accessible to the many Texans who need expanded access to the polls the most. Texas Republicans ending mobile voting is their latest attempt to curb the Democratic rise in the state and steal an election from the rising Texas electorate.

“Republicans know Texas is changing, that’s why they’re trying to change the rules to make it harder for college students, seniors, the disability community, rural Texans, and survivors of natural disasters to cast their ballots.

“Texas Democrats know we should be making it easier to vote, not harder. Democracy thrives when everyone participates. We thank the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee for partnering with us and working to end this heinous assault to one of our most sacred rights.”

Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Chair Catherine Cortez Masto issued the following statement:

“The gains Texas made in boosting turnout prove that when we remove obstacles to voting, more people cast their ballots – and that’s a good thing. We won’t stand by while others work to disenfranchise Texans who want to lawfully participate in our democracy and will fight to protect their rights as well as the integrity of the early voting program.”

 Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chair Cheri Bustos issued the following statement:

“We won’t stand by while Republicans work overtime to undermine Texas voters’ ability to access the ballot, particularly elderly Texans, people with disabilities, and college students. I’m proud to take on this blatantly partisan attempt to shrink the electorate, and I look forward to the day when access to the ballot is treated like the universal American value that it absolutely must be.”

The legislation the lawsuit filed today seeks to overturn as received national attention as part of Republicans’ “efforts to suppress. ”The Washington Post recently editorialized that the effectiveness of increasing voter turnout is exactly why “Texas Republicans shut them down.”

Read the full complaint here.