Grace Pitman, Editor in Chief
“Wait… What? Texas is democratic? You’re joking.”
These thoughts were all vocalized in my government class and were well deserved. None of us had ever imagined the day that we’d hear a state in the Bible Belt was democratic. This was justified in the fact that practically no election in Texas’ has ever had a liberal end. I’m not sure who has hidden such a big realization- the media, Texas’ government, maybe even the federal government, but the point is, the general public is completely unaware of this paradox. This is a problem.
After listening to a radio broadcast by Reveal, titled “Voting Rights- And Wrongs,” (a genius title for the situation at hand) I was completely and utterly shocked. To put it simply, Latinos and other minorities are swinging very far left politically, and they are the majority of the population of Texas. This brings up many questions about Texas, such as, how are the government’s actions so conservative when the largest majority of the people of the state’s political opinions are so democratic? The answer is simple and appalling.
One in ten Texans are expected to be voting in November for the presidential election. The vast majority of these voters will be republicans, as you might have guessed. One of the Reveal investigative journalists spoke with a Texas senator about this issue. The senator was quick to say the population of Texas who were voting completely encapsulated public opinion in the state, but followed up later with a change of heart. He said, after doing some research, that if every registered voter voted in this upcoming election, Hillary Clinton would win the popular vote in Texas by a landslide. So, where are these voters who could change the entire political party of Texas?
Basically, the Texas legislature has been passing voting restrictions to cut down on “voting fraud.” However, each time the Texas government passes a law like this, the federal government looks over it and deems it racially discriminatory, and it gets repealed. The Texas government doesn’t give up though, and has passed hundreds of laws to restrict voting. The reason voting fraud is such a ridiculous justification is because there has been one case of voter’s fraud in the past 10 years, and it was a complete misunderstanding and the fault of the facility that the voter voted in. Ultimately, voting fraud is nonexistent in Texas. The types of law passed by the government have been voting taxes, and most recently ID requirements. Texas passed a law that voters must come to vote with IDs, either a Texas identification card or a birth certificate, and these laws ultimately ended up targeting minorities. This law was repealed, but has left a lot of confusion. With all of these laws being passed, many citizens of Texas don’t know what they need to bring to elections or if they have the right identification to vote, making them decide it wouldn’t be worth it to actually make it out to a voting center. This is a big factor in why only 1/10 of the Texas population is voting.
The government of Texas is failing its citizens on the fundamental basis of democracy. Citizens of the United States have a right to vote, and have a right to express their opinions. The majority of these people are democratic, and their voices are not being heard. This article is in no way intended to be in favor of either party, but instead in favor of state governments advocating for what the people in that state want. Texas is failing to help its people have freedom of speech politically, and it’s time for the media and the people of Texas to speak out about it.