Less than a week after Super Tuesday, where long wait times were observed in major counties around the state, Sen. John Cornyn says things are fine the way they are.
In an interview with reporters, Cornyn said the Voting Rights Advancement Act, a bill passed by House Democrats that would make voting more transparent have more federal oversight, was unnecessary.
“We don’t need the federal government to tell us how to run our elections in Texas,” Cornyn said. “We’ve run free and fair elections and there’s no reason to punish Texas or other states that have corrected their problems with regards to access to voting,” Coryn said, calling voter suppression a “myth” in the same interview, according to the Dallas Morning News.
Cornyn is badly wrong.
Since 2013, the year Texas escaped federal preclearance that safeguarded racist or discriminatory election-related changes by state officials and lawmakers, Texas has seen a long list of new laws that work to suppress voters.
Twenty-four hours escaping that federal oversight, Texas Republicans announced that they would be implementing a strict photo ID law. Shortly after, they also successfully curbed voter registration drives.
This past Texas Legislature session, two new laws were passed making it more difficult for Texans to cast a vote, one law regulating how long polling places can stay open during early voting, and another outlawing mobile polling sites.
If anything, Texas’ short experiment without federal oversight has proved the state is incapable of serving voters without Congress. It’s clear Cornyn doesn’t think so. Luckily, with U.S. Senate candidates MJ Hegar and State Sen. Royce West advancing to a runoff to secure the nomination to challenge him, there’s the opportunity to send the incumbent Senator packing this November.
Photo: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call via Getty Images
Fernando covers Texas politics and government at the Texas Signal. Before joining the Signal, Fernando spent two years at the Houston Chronicle and previously interned at Houston’s NPR station News 88.7. He is a graduate of the University of Houston, Jack J. Valenti School of Communication, and enjoys reading, highlighting things, and arguing on social media. You can follow him on Twitter at @fernramirez93 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org