Texas Civil Rights Project sends letter saying multiple East Texas counties do not meet minimum number of polling places

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TAMPA, FL – OCTOBER 22: Voting booths are setup at the Yuengling center on the campus of University of South Florida as workers prepare to open the doors to early voters on October 22, 2018 in Tampa, Florida. Florida voters head to the polls to cast their early ballots in the race for the Senate as well as the Governors seats. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

AUSTIN, Texas (KETK) – The Texas Civil Rights Project sent a letter to the Texas Secretary of State Wednesday alleging numerous counties, including four in East Texas, are not in compliance with the Texas Election Code.

The group specifically points out the counties’ alleged failure to provide the minimum number of polling locations required by law.

TCRP attorneys say they found at least 180 to 270 fewer polling places that required in more than 30 counties.

“It is disappointing that so many counties across our state are failing to comply with the Texas Election Code. At the end of the day, voters suffer the consequences, in the form of longer lines or even flat out disenfranchisement. The Secretary of State’s failure to oversee these counties and to ensure their compliance with Texas law is just one more in a long string of failures.”

Zachary Dolling, staff attorney with the Texas Civil Rights Project and author of the letter

Concern has risen over the coronavirus spread in Texas and how it may affect elections later this year.

In the letter it states:

“Increased numbers of polling places allows for greater social distancing, shorter lines, and fewer people at each polling place, all of which mitigate the spread of the virus.”

According to the letter, these East Texas counties have pledged to come into compliance by November 2020:

  • Angelina
  • Smith
  • Nacogdoches

The letter states that Bowie County, along with 15 others in the Lone Star State, will continue to violate the election code even after being notified. The others include:

  • Aransas
  • Caldwell
  • Cameron
  • Coke
  • Comal
  • Cooke
  • Galveston
  • Hardin
  • Hidalgo
  • Johnson
  • Lubbock
  • Montgomery
  • Rockwall
  • Washington
  • Wilbarger

You can read the entire letter here.

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