PRAIRIE VIEW – The Waller County Commissioners Court voted to allow the Willie A. Tempton, Sr. Memorial Student Center to serve as the official polling location in Precinct 3 for all elections. Early voting will still be held at the Coleman-Kemp-Smith Community Center on FM 1098 where voting was held previously.
“This decision is a major victory for our students. For decades, we’ve been involved in the political process, from voting to campaigning to running for office,” said Priscilla Barbour, Student Government Association president. “This decision guarantees that our students can exercise their right to vote in a place that is convenient and accessible.” According to Barbour, the lack of a voting precinct on the campus violated the federal Voting Rights Act.
Students have marched and protested for voting rights since the 1970s, when questionnaires were used to prevent students from voting.
In the early 1990s, 19 students were indicted on the basis of improper voting, yielding a Supreme Court ruling allowing students to vote while residing on campus. The following decade, a federal suit was filed on behalf of students after the county district attorney attempted to prevent students from voting on the grounds of residency requirements.
Five years ago, students marched to protest the lack of an early voting place precinct on the campus.