The Houston Endowment stands for the fundamental right of every eligible voter to cast their ballot.

The Houston Endowment

We stand for the fundamental right of every eligible voter to cast their ballot.

Strong representative democracy requires participation from all voters. Sadly, Texas has long lagged the nation in accessibility to the polls.1  During the 2020 election, the pandemic stacked the odds even further against voters’ ability to safely cast their ballots. Undeterred, our community stepped up to support voters. Community voices were engaged to shape processes more responsive to residents’ needs. As a result, we had more options to vote safely and conveniently. This benefited all voters, regardless of political affiliation.

Limiting citizens’ access to the democratic process damages our democracy and hurts us all. The expanded voting practices established in 2020 proved highly effective. Despite the challenges of a fraught election cycle, our community turned out in record-breaking numbers.2 Provisions in SB 7 and HB 6 threaten to dismantle these gains. We should continue to build, not tear down, practices that support voter engagement.

We echo the conviction expressed by community and business leaders throughout the country3: “For American democracy to work for any of us, we must ensure the right to vote for all of us.” Last year our community came together to move us closer to this ideal. We still have work to do. Now is the time to continue that drive toward the highest standards of representative democracy.

Respectfully,

Houston Endowment Board of Directors & Staff

  1. Schraufnagel, S., Pomante II, M.J., Li, Q. (2020). Cost of Voting in the American States: 2020. Election Law Journal, 19(5). Retrieved from here.
  2. Harris County Clerk. (29 October 2020). Harris County Surpasses Total 2016 General Election Turnout. Retrieved from here.
  3. Joint Statement (14 April 2021). We Stand for Democracy. Retrieved from here.

To learn more, go to https://www.houstonendowment.org/news/statement-in-support-of-voting-access/