In Texas, where 750 polling places have closed since 2012, voters wait in line for hours

Houston voters wait in a long line.
(Image credit: Mark Felix/AFP via Getty Images)

Some voters in Texas spent hours waiting in line at their local polling place on Super Tuesday, something that came as no surprise to those keeping an eye on the state's population growth.

At Texas Southern University in Houston, a historically black university, voters waited for four hours to cast their ballots. Ari Berman, author of Give Us the Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America, tweeted, "This is what voting in Texas looks like after Supreme Court gutted Voting Rights Act."

In the 2013 case of Shelby County v. Holder, the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 to give nine states, most of them in the South, the ability to change election laws without receiving advanced approval from the federal government. Since 2012, Texas has closed 750 polling places, and Berman said in the 50 counties that gained the most black and Hispanic residents between 2012 and 2018, 542 polling sites were shut down.

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Voters in Southern California faced a different problem, with many Los Angeles County residents waiting in long lines due to malfunctioning voting machines. Polls officially closed at 8 p.m., but Sen. Bernie Sanders' (I-Vt.) campaign requested an emergency temporary restraining order and injunctive relief in order to keep polling places open so everyone can "exercise their constitutional right to vote."

The campaigns of former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) also appealed to the California Democratic Party to keep the polls open. As long as a voter is in line before polls close, they are allowed to vote, and the California Democratic Party is sending representatives to sites around Los Angeles County to let people know their rights, Politico's Christopher Cadelago reports.

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Catherine Garcia

Catherine Garcia is night editor for Her writing and reporting has appeared in Entertainment Weekly and, The New York Times, The Book of Jezebel, and other publications. A Southern California native, Catherine is a graduate of the University of Redlands and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.