All citizens have the constitutional right to vote. We should be enacting and enforcing laws that make it easier, not harder, for citizens to vote.
Instead, Republican-dominated state legislatures (including Texas) keep passing laws that restrict or suppress voting by traditional Democratic voters in hopes of stacking the deck for future elections. These laws are designed to appear as if they do not discriminate: requiring a photo I.D., denying access to translators, and making voter registration more difficult by closing DMV locations in certain districts. But they do discriminate, and our courts have struck down these laws as unconstitutional because they intentionally discriminate against voters on the basis of race or have the effect of doing so.
Partisan and racial gerrymandering have the same discriminatory effect. In practice, gerrymandering violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment and it burdens our First Amendment rights of association and speech. Even still, it dominates our political system, disenfranchising voters and silencing their voices.
We must fight for a better system to determine our representation, eliminate partisan bias, and work for an equitable voting process. This means championing a full restoration of the Voting Rights Act, challenging discriminatory voter identification laws, legalizing same-day registration or implementing universal automatic registration, and expanding early voting and vote-by-mail options.
In Congress, I will be committed to protecting voting rights, not restricting them.