29 Jun STATEMENT: TCRP applauds first-ever Spanish language Deputy Voter Registrar Training in Harris County.
For Immediate Release
Thursday, June 29, 2017
Contact: Zenen Jaimes Perez
Phone: 512.474.5073 ext. 116
STATEMENT: TCRP applauds first-ever Spanish language Deputy Voter Registrar Training in Harris County
For more details on the training, click here.
Houston, TX — Today, the Office of Ann Harris Bennett, Harris County Tax Assessor-Collector and Voter Registrar, is conducting the first-ever Spanish language Voter Deputy Registrar (VDR) Training in Harris County. The Texas Civil Rights Project applauds this and any effort to ensure that all Texans can participate in our democracy, and we encourage other counties to follow Harris County’s lead.
In August 2016, TCRP and a coalition of 10 groups sent a letter to then Secretary of State, Carlos Cascos, requesting that the state take immediate steps to comply with the federal Voting Rights Act of 1985 and the Texas Elections Code by providing training materials for potential VDRs in Spanish. Under the Texas Elections Code, it is a crime to handle a completed voter registration form in any Texas county without being trained as a VDR for that particular county.
With today’s training, Harris County has taken a critical step to ensure that Harris County’s 1.31 million residents who speak Spanish at home are able to become VDRs and register people in their community to vote.
Beth Stevens, Voting Rights Director at the Texas Civil Rights Project, said:
“To see the future of Texas, you don’t have to look much further than Harris County. Millions of residents speak a language other than English and they deserve to be included in our democracy just as much as anyone else.”
“Under Ann Harris Bennett’s leadership, her office is leading the way with the first-ever Spanish language VDR training in the county. This training will help address part of the current and historical exclusion of Spanish speaking voters in our state. But there is still a long way to go.”
“We encourage election officials across the state to follow Harris County’s lead and provide VDR training in an accessible way to all community members. We will also continue our efforts to ensure that the Secretary of State complies with federal voting rights law.”