Nearly two months after Hurricane Harvey ripped through Texas, 850,000+ households have applied to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for temporary support, according to Texas Monthly. The agency reports that just 321,244 applications have been approved as of press time.
In an October 11 letter to Texas Secretary of State Rolando Pablos, the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund (LDF) argues that the widespread displacement and loss means that thousands of Texans no longer have transportation or the state-required identification they need to head to the polls. LDF is currently challenging the state’s voter ID law in federal court.
From a statement about the letter:
The Texas code already recognizes that a natural disaster is an extenuating circumstance necessitating accommodations.
The racially disparate impact of the photo ID law has only been exacerbated since the storm as Black and Latino Texans are more likely to have lost their IDs in its wake. As a result, it will be difficult for many voters to reach their assigned polling sites on Election Day and/or register to vote by the October 10, 2017 deadline.