Republicans have consistently done their best to rig elections in their favor, often at the expense of black voters. If it’s not racially biased gerrymandering it’s closing polling stations in predominately black neighborhoods. Despite their best efforts, one Texas man would not be deterred from exercising his right to vote.
Houston Public Media reports that Hervis Rogers waited six hours to cast the last vote at Texas Southern University. He arrived shortly before 7 p.m. after having already left two packed polling stations. Rogers works two jobs and had to be at work at 6 the next morning. His wait would see him casting the last vote at TSU at 1 am. Rogers told reporters while waiting in line:
“It is insane but it’s worth it. I mean, I wouldn’t feel right if I didn’t vote. I feel like it’s— I voice my opinion, but it don’t feel right if I don’t vote. So I said, ‘I’m going to take a stand and vote. It might make a difference.’”
Rogers’ actions were admirable but voting shouldn’t be a herculean act of endurance. Long wait times were reported at numerous polling stations in Harris County, Texas. This comes in the wake of a report that revealed Texas shut down hundreds of polling stations in areas with predominately black and Latinx communities. If the distance doesn’t deter folks from voting, the hope is that the long lines will. Rogers himself even considered leaving at one point. Eventually, he simply decided, “It wouldn’t make no sense for me to walk away now. I’m already here. It’s go with the flow.”
I’m happy to see a person take their responsibility to vote so seriously, especially amidst that current clusterfuck that is the Trump administration. I simply wish that it wasn’t such an effort for voters to exercise their rights.