Two days after students at Prairie View A&M University sued Waller County over allegations that the county is suppressing the voting rights of black residents, the rural county said it is expanding early voting opportunities for students at the historically black university.
The county will now open a Sunday polling place at Prairie View City Hall and expand voting hours at the university’s campus center on Monday through Wednesday of next week to 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., instead of the original 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., according to the NAACP. Students can continue to early vote at the Waller County Community Center in Prairie View on Thursday and Friday of next week.
According to Waller County’s website, there is still no location on campus or in the city of Prairie View available to the students during the first week of early voting, which is what originally prompted five students to sue the county, accusing it of violating the federal Voting Rights Act and U.S. Constitution by denying them “an equal opportunity to vote” compared to the county’s non-black voters.
In a statement released Thursday, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund called the expanded early voting plan “an improvement over the original plan, but still not equal to what other Waller County residents were offered.”
See here for the background. This is better than it was before, and that’s always something. But seriously, why is this so hard? Why isn’t Prairie View being treated like other voting locations? There’s no acceptable answer to that question.
UPDATE: State Sen. Borris Miles is not impressed with the latest announcement.