Polling problems ahead of midterm election

Editorial Board

On Oct. 6, the Texas Organizing Project (TOP) officially filed a lawsuit against Bexar County and the Bexar County Elections Office. The lawsuit was filed due to the number of polling places within Bexar County and claimed that this year’s midterm elections will have the lowest number of polling places the county will have ever seen during a general election. 

In 2020, a similar lawsuit was filed by TOP and MOVE Texas over the number of polling places. Bexar County originally planned for 284 polling places, but after losing the suit, the number was increased. This year Bexar County initially approved 259, a considerable decrease from years prior. 

After the lawsuit was initially filed, Judge Martha Tanner ruled that Bexar County must add approximately 129 polling places ahead of the election. According to Texas voting laws, a county must have half as many voting places as they have districts. With Bexar County having 776 precincts, that means they must accommodate a minimum of 388 polling stations.

Year after year Bexar County fails to hold its elections up to statewide standards, yet the county is barely receiving any backlash or punishment. Even with the increase of polling places due to Judge Tanner’s ruling, Bexar County will still be under the minimum state-specified guidelines for the acceptable number of polling places per county. 

Throughout Texas, voters are experiencing some of the most blatant attacks of voter suppression in modern times. Alongside Bexar County’s failures, Texas has no online voter registration, limits the number of people who can vote by mail, has stringent voter ID laws and much more under Senate Bill 1

Bexar County and the state of Texas are failing you as a voter and a citizen. As citizens, we must vote and protect our rights, and it just so happens that our right to vote and its credibility are at stake.

Check if you are registered to vote at https://www.vote.org/. Early voting begins on Oct. 24 and runs until Nov. 4, and Election Day takes place on Nov. 8.