AUSTIN (KXAN) — A proposed bill would ban voting sites on Texas higher education campuses, one of the latest filings that would change Texas voting laws.
State Rep. Carrie Isaac, R-Wimberley, filed House Bill 2390 Thursday. Isaac represents Comal County and parts of Hays County.
Isaac said it is a matter of school safety.
“Here in Texas, we have one of the longest early voting periods of any state in the nation, two weeks of early voting,” Isaac said. “I don’t believe it’s wise that we invite people onto our campuses that would not otherwise be there.”
In her proposal, counties would be prohibited from designating a polling place on the campus of an institution of higher education within the county.
Isaac said there are other options like voting by mail. Additionally, he said some universities bus students to polling locations.
“I have the utmost confidence in our young adults here in Texas to vote, even if the location is not right there on their campus,” Isaac said.
If passed, it would go into effect Sept. 1.
How do students feel about it?
College students like Jacob Graybill said he is concerned. Graybill is one of thousands of Texas State University students who vote on the campus’ polling location.
He said it is a resource for so many in the community.
“It’s not just the students. It’s the faculty, the staff, like every single level of Texas State and San Marcos,” Graybill said. “Our neighbors come to vote at this location for convenience.”
He said he worries it will lead to some people just skipping voting.
“There would be so many people that want to vote who care about these issues but just can’t,” Graybill said. “So the fact that they’re trying to take away a community asset for not just San Marcos, but for every college town… it just is a blatant expression of voter suppression.”
What are some other proposed polling location bills?
Two Texas state senators—both democrats— filed an opposite bill in November, which would require at least one main campus polling location for higher education institutions with at least 5,000 students. It would also require two campus locations for institutions with at least 10,000 students plus another voting site for every additional 10,000 students enrolled.
State Sen. José Menéndez, D-San Antonio, and Sen. Nathan Johnson, D-Dallas, filed the bill.
That proposal, Senate Bill 118, would go into effect Sept. 1. It was referred to the state affairs committee.
Isaac said she is drafting up another bill similar to HB 2390. It would remove polling places from K-12 public and charter schools.