HOUSTON – With the Nov. 3 presidential election rapidly approaching, Prairie View A&M University students, who for decades have opposed Waller County, Texas, voter suppression efforts, were in court this month alleging county officials’ early-voting schedule violated the U.S. Constitution and the Voting Rights Act.
Prairie View A&M students and alumni, who included Jayla Allen, Damon Johnson and Treasure Smith, sued Waller County in 2018, alleging it violated their civil rights. The federal lawsuit alleged the county was making it easier for “non-Black” and “non-student voters” to have better access to early voting sites than Prairie View A&M students.
Even after the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund (LDF) filed the federal lawsuit resulting in a trial, county officials chose not to increase on-campus early voting at Prairie View A&M for any elections, including the election Tuesday between President Donald Trump and Democrat Joe Biden that will greatly impact Black voters.
In essence, the number of voting days was split along racial lines: The city of Prairie View is about 80% Black, Waller County is about 70% white.