Hundreds were delayed from voting and others nearly turned away entirely during the presidential election because of confusion over current state voter ID laws, including in Bexar County, a new report from a voting rights advocacy group shows. It’s just one of numerous problems Texas voters — particularly minority groups — faced during the 2016 election cycle, according to a report by the Texas Civil Rights Project. “Unfortunately, throughout the state, voters faced numerous obstacles that complicated the process,” said Beth Stevens, voting rights director at the Texas Civil Rights Project, which released the report Thursday. “Through our Election Protection Coalition, we heard directly from thousands of voters about the barriers they faced in our electoral system.”
The first-of-its-kind, Texas-based report on voter issues was limited in scope to more than 4,000 incidents that were logged. Of the 3,100 callers who specified their race, 52 percent of cases came from Latino or Hispanic voters and 20 percent from black or African-American voters. But Stevens said it’s safe to assume there are more Texans who experienced similar obstacles but didn’t know how to report them. “Common sense says that there is whole subset of voters that didn’t know who to call and just walked away,” she said.
Of the 4,000 incidents that were tracked by a coalition of voting advocacy groups during the presidential election, most were issues related to polling place problems, voter registration status or voter ID requirements.
The report mentioned one specific case of voter intimidation in Bexar County, where at least one voter felt distressed by the presence of two uniformed San Antonio Police Department officers who were stationed at a polling location.