For the last two weeks the focus of our country has been on the political party conventions, who met to formally nominate their candidates for President of the United States. While the conventions will undoubtedly leave their mark on history, given the historic nature of the candidates, a court decision released last week could have a lasting effect for years to come as well.
Texas’ Voter ID law was ruled discriminatory by the 5th circuit court of appeals, one of the most, if not the most, conservative appellate courts in the country. The way the law was passed with no real input from the public, and the manner in which the rules were changed to pass it were not lost on the court.
I, like many of my colleagues fought to have this law struck down. But, before we fought to have it struck down, we plead to help in making the law better. Unfortunately, the day the law went into effect in its current form, thousands of my constituents lost their right to vote. Some are unable to meet the new requirements due to socioeconomic reasons, others, geographic reasons, but all due to the design and intention of the law to further complicate access to the ballot box for many individuals.
The court’s decision affords Texas the opportunity to do it right this time. The opportunity to work together to make sure our elections remain secure, while also ensuring those who are eligible to vote, are able to vote with the least amount of struggle as possible.
We have many challenging opportunities as a state, but we’ll only be successful if everyone has a role, and the most basic and important level of participation is voting. Let’s encourage everyone to make their voice heard, no matter their party, locality, ethnicity or creed.
Together, we will make Texas even better.