A Texas Man Waited 7 Hours To Vote Amid Continued Allegations Of Voter Suppression In The State
Hervis Rogers was the last person to vote at Texas Southern University, casting his ballot at 1:30 a.m.
March 04, 2020 at 7:11 pm
Super Tuesday turned into Super Wednesday for Texas voter Hervis Rogers who waited in line for seven hours to cast his vote.
The polling station at Texas Southern University experienced delays due to high voter turnout and a lack of voting machines, according to The Daily Beast.
Rogers was the last person to vote at TSU and ended up casting his ballot at 1:30 a.m. Afterward, he reported directly to his job for a night shift which he was late for. Rogers didn’t seem upset by the long lines though, as he was smiling when he walked out and told ABC13 that he used the time to watch the results come in on his phone.
"I wanted to get my vote in, voice my opinion. I wasn't going to let anything stop me, so I waited it out," Rogers said.
While he kept mum on who his candidate of choice is, he did tell Houston Chronicle reporter Nicole Hensley, that he’s confident “it was the right choice.”
Hervis Rogers is out. Here’s what he had to say as he left the polling site. pic.twitter.com/AZV2b0xzzL— Nicole Hensley 📰 (@nkhensley) March 4, 2020
Pizza was given to voters by volunteers to keep their spirits high. However, some voters became irritated with the hours-long wait time, calling civil rights groups and even leaving in some cases.
.@OrganizeTexas tells me that wait times are so long in Harris County’s Black and Latino neighborhoods that people are going from location to location, and some voters are giving up on voting— Kira Lerner (@kira_lerner) March 3, 2020
Clerk Diane Trautman said more machines were sent to the site in order to accommodate the high turn out. At Houston Community College, 12 more voting machines were sent after polls had already been officially closed in order to help the line of 300 people move along, Vox reported.
“Literally the whole time we’ve been out here, none of the machines have been functioning the way they said they were,” Justin McVay told MSNBC.
McVay waited five and a half hours at the HBCU to cast his vote. Although the long lines and lack of machines were frustrating, the Texan made sure to stay and stick it out.
“At the end of the day we all stayed and we motivated each other because we really wanted to get our vote across and we really felt like they must have been doing this on purpose to kind of steer people or discourage people to come vote,” he said. “Maybe next time, but you might not get a next time.”
Black and Latino voters were affected mostly in Texas, specifically in Harris County where the population is made up of 40% Latino residents and 19% Black residents, according to Data USA.
The state has also shut down more polling sites than any other southern state, creating an easier opportunity to win for Republican candidates, as Blavity previously reported.
Since 2012, Texas has closed down 750 polling sites, leading to voter suppression. The areas in which these sites have shut down are in communities heavily populated by Black people. It has also affected more liberal-leaning cities in central Texas, such as Killeen. Other polling sites that have been shut down are located near the U.S.-Mexico border.