Prairie View A&M Students Lead March To The Polls After Winning Voter Disenfranchisement Lawsuit
Waller County granted Prairie View three days of early voting, compared to two weeks at Texas A&M.
Students at Prairie View A&M carried “No Vote, No Hope” and other signs while they marched to the nearest polling station on Tuesday.
According to the Texas Observer, about 200 students from the HBCU left classes early to vote, chanting “go vote” and encouraging others to exercise their right to vote along the way.
“This was all them,” former Prarie View Mayor Frank Jackson told the Texas Observer. “This is their game, and now we’re out here to support them however we can.”
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Prairie View A&M University students walked out of class and marched to the polling station, chanting, "Go vote!"
Students there recently won a lawsuit allowing them to vote early and to vote at the student center on campus. https://t.co/0TPmJLi8Ku pic.twitter.com/XNVl51IEbF— ABC News (@ABC) November 6, 2018
The students weren’t just celebrating the possible change in political tide that may soon come about, but their right to take part in it. In late October, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund filed a lawsuit on behalf of the Prairie View students, arguing that the students were subjected to voter disenfranchisement at the hand of Waller County. While polling stations across the county, and at the majority-white Texas A&M, specifically, received two weeks of early voting, Prairie View was granted just three days to cast early ballots, The New York Times reports.
According to the lawsuit, students’ ability to vote was further restricted by the absence of a single early voting polling place. To combat these difficulties, many student activists on campus drove others to and from polling locations in nearby towns to exercise their right to vote despite the hurdles placed before them.
Students at Prairie View march to vote, protest voter suppression: https://t.co/CnQKZ7DuUX via @YouTube— Houston Chronicle (@HoustonChron) November 6, 2018
Onlookers supported those who marched after their win, including alumni who looked to their alma mater with pride.
“Don’t get me wrong, it’s horrendous that here we are in 2018 and we still have to march for the same thing that I fought for in 1979, that my son fought for in 2008,” Prairie View A&M alumna Carla Richardson Foster told the Texas Observer. “But I’m so happy these students are still out here marching, still fighting. It is beautiful to see them marching.”