Greg Abbott: Shut Down Voter Registration Group, In Favor of Discriminatory Photo ID’s

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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.

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About Author

Katherine Haenschen

Katherine Haenschen is a PhD candidate at the University of Texas, where she studies political participation on digital media. She previously managed successful candidate, issue, voter registration, and GOTV campaigns in Central Texas. She is also a fan of UCONN women's basketball and breakfast tacos.

2 Comments

  1. In the end, voters in Texas will get what they deserve. A governor just as bad as the one leaving office and it’s their own fault. It’s Kansas the sequel. He doesn’t care about what he is doing to the average resident of Texas cause he knows his base has his back. The GOP will continue to crap on and abuse their base and the base will take it willing and ask for more. The party knows this and continues to do it cause they know they will suffer no consequences for their actions. The reality here is why change if you don’t have to and they don’t have to. A typical GOP voter is a moron that is misinformed and stupid. They worry about the least important issues affecting the country (Same sex Marriage and abortion) I get why rich people vote GOP cause they got you covered. If your poor and a lower income voter and vote GOP they get exactly what you deserve. This is a base that willing vote against their own interest to be a proud poor republican. You just can’t help stupid in a case like this. Mr. Abbot will be elected goveror and the state of Texas will continue to be a red state. If your life was hard under Rick Perry it won’t get any better under Greg Abbot. If you vote for him or don’t vote at all in the end (Again) you get what you deserve. Don’t complain about it cause you where the ones who caused it. For those who voted and not for Mr. Abbot, you just have realize you live in a state of morons who are will willing inflict more pain on you.

  2. Really???? I dont like greg abbott but just a THOUGHT….. blood was shed for AMERICANS to vote. Being in America at the time of an election doesn’t make you an American. What is wrong with you?

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