Voter Protection Efforts Secure Victory for Hidalgo County Voters Disenfranchised by Late Poll Openings
Thanks to the voter protection efforts of La Unión del Pueblo Entero and Texas Civil Rights Project, Hidalgo County Elections Department has announced that all 74 Election Day polling places will remain open until 8 p.m. Voters in line by 7 p.m. will cast regular ballots while voters who arrive after 7 p.m. will be provisional ballots.
LUPE members monitored polls across the county this morning and encountered multiple locations closed past 7 a.m. Poll monitors quickly reported the closures to the Texas Election Protection Coalition via hotline. We helped voters report the closures to the hotline and then find a nearby polling place. Many voters left and may not be able to vote. Attorneys with TCRP and the Coalition quickly readied litigation and advised Hidalgo County that we would seek immediate relief from the courts in order to protect the voting rights of the voters burdened.
LUPE and TCRP documented that the following polling locations did not open at 7 a.m. as required by law; all opened more than 1 hour late, and some for up to around 2 hours:
- Liberty Middle School, 1212 S. Fir, Pharr, TX 78577
- Edinburg North High School, 3101 N. Closner Blvd., Edinburg, TX 78541
- Monte Cristo Elementary School, 4010 N. Doolittle Rd., Edinburg, TX 78541
- Sorensen Elementary, 701 E. Sam Houston, San Juan, TX 78589
- Mary Hoge Middle School, 2302 N. International Blvd., Weslaco, TX 78596
- Stephen F. Austin School, 599 W. 4th St., Weslaco, TX 78596
Voters who encounter barriers to voting are encouraged to call 1-866-OUR-VOTE.
For reaction to this victory, join LUPE organizers and canvassers for an election results watch party this evening at the LUPE union headquarters, located at the corner of Cesar Chavez Rd and Business Highway 83 in San Juan.