Redistricting is one method that American political parties use in an attempt to render “undesirable” votes powerless in our unnecessarily convoluted electoral college-based system. When Texas state republicans located the early-polling place more than seven miles from Prairie View A&M University, it appeared to be dirty politics as usual. Prairie View A&M, in Prairie View, Texas, is a historically black university whose eight thousand students are predominantly democrats.
A 14-mile roundtrip excursion can make the difference between voting or not, especially for college students – many of whom don’t own cars. Mass transportation in this part of the country isn’t much help.
Turnout among younger voters tends to be disproportionately low, even without added inconveniences. However, the republican plan clearly touched a nerve and backfired. Led by the university’s famous Marching Storm band, hundreds of students made the pilgrimage to the polls by foot and shut down a Texas highway in the process.
This is what democracy looks like:
Recent national U.S. elections will be remembered for questionable election results, voting fraud, unreliable and tamper-prone high-tech voting machines with no paper record to verify the tally, and a news network and Supreme Court that are willing to go along with an assault on democracy. Grassroots efforts, like this one by Prairie View’s students, are what will save our democracy.
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