Gina Hinojosa, a representative from House District 49 in Austin, recently filed House Bill 375, which aims to increase the number of polling places on college campuses across the state.
On what the bill does:
“College students deserve easy access to polling places, just like the rest of Texans do. My bill would require any college campus with 10,000 students or more to have a polling place on campus.”
On how she got the idea for the bill:
“University of Texas students brought this concern to me. I had worked with them over the interim to get access to a second polling place at UT that they wanted and needed. … In that process, they learned that there are large college campuses in the state of Texas that don’t have polling places. I think that potentially there are communities that don’t quite recognize students on a college campus as kinda part of that community. And I think that we need to make sure that we acknowledge and treat who’s living in a community with the same respect.”
On how filing a bill can bring awareness to an issue, even if that bill doesn’t pass:
“Sometimes it just takes several sessions to get something pushed. But one of the byproducts of filing a bill and having hearings on it is that you educate people on what is actually going on. … There is nothing to stop election officials in those communities from prioritizing or even just treating equally places where college students live and go to school and are all day long.”