Just a thought: perhaps Texas is better served with a governor who wants to expand access to the polls, rather than restrict it with laws that disproportionately disenfranchise minorities and the poor.
Back in 2010, Abbott’s office conducted an armed raid on Houston Votes, a non-partisan voter registration effort in Harris County. Officers seized computers and other files. No charges were filed, and the case was closed. All associated files were destroyed in 2013.
But for Houston Votes, ABbott’s raid brought an end to their organization.
- A close examination of the Houston Votes case reveals the consequences when an elected official pursues hotly contested allegations of election fraud.
The investigation was closed one year after the raid, with no charges filed. But for Houston Votes, the damage was done. Its funding dried up, and its efforts to register more low-income voters ended. Its records and office equipment never were returned. Instead, under a 2013 court order obtained by Abbott’s office, they were destroyed.
This month, the Texas Democratic Congressional delegation has asked the United States Department of Justice to open an investigation of Greg Abbott’s office and its targeted harassment of the non-profit voter registration group called Houston Votes.
And news outlets are asking the question: was Greg Abbott’s raid a voter suppression effort?
Now, Greg Abbott is vigorously defending the state’s discriminatory photo voter ID law. The trial wrapped up recently in Corpus Christi.
The plaintiffs allege that Greg Abbott and other state GOP leaders intentionally discriminated against African American and Hispanic Texans. Abbott provided assistance and advised the legislature to pass the discriminatory voter ID law and congressional redistricting plan. He is now spending millions in Texas taxpayer funds to defend them.
Meanwhile, Abbott maintains that there is “zero proof” that these laws disenfranchise Texans.
Of course, the law almost disenfranchised Abbott in the November 2013 elections, but thanks to an amendment from Senator Wendy Davis he was able to sign an affidavit and vote. The irony appears lost on him, however.
Texas Democratic Party chairman Gilberto Hinojosa released the following statement:
The right to vote is guaranteed by our constitution, yet throughout history Americans have lost blood, sweat, and tears to protect this basic right. The Texas Attorney General is supposed to work with Texans to ensure their rights, not threaten them.
From raiding Houston Votes to defending the discriminatory voter ID law, Abbott continues to place himself between voters and the ballot box.
Our state deserves a governor that wants to uphold the right to vote for all Texans — not just the ones that will vote for him.