The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

Texas A&M utility Gavin Grahovac (9) throws the ball during A&Ms game against Georgia on Friday, April 26, 2024, at Olsen Field. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
Southern slugfest
May 23, 2024
Advertisement
Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp attends the Class of 1972 50-year reunion in Kyle Field on April 20, 2022.
A&M System’s Title IX director suspended after supporting Biden's Title IX changes
Nicholas Gutteridge, Managing Editor • May 23, 2024
Advertisement
A fighter jet squadron flies over during the National Anthem before Texas A&M’s game against Arkansas at Olsen Field on Saturday, May 18, 2024. (Chris Swann/The Battalion)
Bryan-College Station Regional participants announced
Ian Curtis, Sports Writer • May 27, 2024

For the second time in three seasons, No. 3 national seed Texas A&M baseball will host the Bryan-College Station Regional, where it’ll...

Advertisement
Beekeeper Shelby Dittman scoops bees back into their hive during a visit on Friday, April 5, 2024. (Kyle Heise/The Battalion)
Bee-hind the scenes
Shalina Sabih, Sports Writer • May 1, 2024

The speakers turn on. Static clicks. And a voice reads “Your starting lineup for the Texas A&M Aggies is …” Spectators hear that...

Kennedy White, 19, sits for a portrait in the sweats she wore the night of her alleged assault inside the Y.M.C.A building that holds Texas A&M’s Title IX offices in College Station, Texas on Feb. 16, 2024 (Ishika Samant/The Battalion).
'I was terrified'
April 25, 2024
Scenes from 74
Scenes from '74
April 25, 2024
Advertisement
Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Voting roadblocks and milestones

Valid+Voter+ID+Cards+in+Texas
Photo by Graphic by Rebecca Sloane
Valid Voter ID Cards in Texas

After Reconstruction, the “white primary” in Texas was status quo until 1923, when Article 3107 of the Statutes of Texas codified it as law. The “white primary” would prevent Black Democrats from having a voice in representation.
Three Black men would each challenge the law.
Lawrence Nixon, a Black physician from El Paso, sued after being turned away from voting despite having a poll tax receipt. In 1927, the Supreme Court ruled the law unconstitutional in Nixon v. Herndon, citing the Fourteenth Amendment.
Within months, Texas replaced the law with another that allowed primary executive committees to restrict who could participate in nominations, a de facto return to white primaries.
When Democrats passed a resolution, Nixon sued again.
In 1934, the Supreme Court again sided with Nixon, citing the Fourteenth Amendment. The victory was short lived. Another resolution instituting the white primary was passed by the Texas Democratic state convention to replace the executive committee.
Houston barber Richard Grovey sued, and lost. In 1935, the Supreme Court found in Grovey v. Townsend the Democratic primary, as a private organization, had the power to set membership requirements.
The white primary continued until 1944, when the Supreme Court overturned the Grovey decision in Smith v. Allwright, stating the primaries were an integral part of the electoral process. This was a victory for Black voters, but it did not mean the end of voter suppression.
In 1965, Congress passed the Voting Rights Act to protect and ensure the right to vote for all eligible citizens regardless of race. Section 5 of the VRA requires that certain states are subject to a preclearance requirement in the event of changing voting laws.
Section 4 determined which states were subject to Section 5. Texas was one of these states. The 2013 Supreme Court decision Shelby County v. Holder determined that Section 4 provisions were outdated and no longer applied. This decision effectively disarmed the VRA of the power to keep states in check.
Within hours of the decision, then Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott announced that Texas would implement stricter voting ID requirements, a strategy historically used to suppress and disenfranchise minority groups. In 2014, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals found the Texas law “racially discriminatory” and unconstitutional.
Today, SB 5, a new law, provides six alternative forms of identification citizens can use to vote.
Historically, Texas has had comparatively low voter turnout. Texas voter turnout has not been above 55 percent in the last 50 years. The U.S. median voter turnout rate was 59.3 percent in 2016.


This story is a collaboration between The Battalion and upperclassmen in Texas A&M’s journalism degree. To see the online copy of the “All Things Voting” print edition, click here.

Navigate Left
Navigate Right
  • Texas Voting Timeline and Texas A&M

    Photo by Graphic by Angelina Alcantar

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Battalion

Your donation will support the student journalists of Texas A&M University - College Station. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Battalion

Comments (0)

All The Battalion Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *