Canyon Lake’s newly elected state Rep. Carrie Isaac, R-73, wants to make college campuses safer by making it harder for students to vote.
On Thursday, she filed House Bill 2390, the Texas Campus Protection Bill, which would prohibit Comal County Commissioners Court from designating polling locations on the campus of an institution of higher education.
A companion bill has not been introduced in the Texas Senate.
“We must do everything we can to make our school campuses as safe as possible,” Isaac said in a statement released today. “I have experienced firsthand the heightened emotions that often occur at polling locations, and I will not wait for more violence to act.”
She cited the stabbing death of a University of Texas at Austin student and the Uvalde shooter as underlying reasons for the legislation but did not offer further details about potential violence at polling locations.
“As a mom with one child on a college campus, and one on a public school campus, I think about the safety of my sons and their classmates regularly,” she said. “I have been working on a package of campus safety legislation that I believe will help protect open college, public school, and charter school campuses.”
Included in that package are plans to also remove polling places from public and charter schools and to expand a school marshal program to include volunteers from military and police officers.
If passed, the current bill would take effect on Sept. 1.
Isaac represents Comal and parts of Hays County, which turned blue during the 2018 U.S. Senate race. Texas State University is located in San Marcos.
MOVE Texas, a nonprofit that works to increase voter participation by young Texans, pushed back on Isaac’s bill, describing it as an “insidious” attempt to silence young voters.
“Let one thing be extremely clear,” Executive Director Claudia Yoli Ferla said on Twitter. “Young people will not let this bill see the light of day. We’re putting the power of our movement and the pressure of mass democracy behind this fight.”
In a statement, MOVE Texas said polling locations are among the most widely used sites to vote in Texas, and lines are notoriously long.
“Policymakers should be remedying this problem by guaranteeing an adequate number of polling locations on college campuses every year,” MOVE Texas said in a statement. “Instead, HB 2390 does the opposite. It disenfranchises young Texans not just from voting but from carrying out civic responsibilities in a bold-faced and targeted manner.”
Jerrie Champlin, president of the League of Women Voters – Comal Area, said six members from the Comal area plan to meet with Isaac on Feb. 28 to discuss priority issues as part of a statewide action day at the Texas Capitol.
“Top of the priority list is voting rights,” she said.