Media Advisory
From the Office of State Senator Rodney Ellis

For Immediate Release
Thursday, February 5, 2004
Contact: Kenneth Besserman, (512) 463-0113

Voting Rights Ignored by Waller County District Attorney
Students Seek Injunction Against District Attorney

Press Briefing Today at 3:00 PM

(Houston, Texas) - In response to ongoing voter intimidation efforts from the district attorney of Waller County, Texas, students and civil rights organizations at Prairie View A&M University (PVAMU) filed a lawsuit and preliminary injunction to ensure that PVAMU students will be able to freely exercise their fundamental right to vote. Students at the historically black college in Waller County are seeking to participate in the March 9, 2004 primary election and all future elections free from the threat of prosecution. More information can obtained during today's 3:00 p.m. press briefing.

WHAT:      Press Briefing on PVAMU Lawsuit
WHO:         Lawyers for the students, Congressman Chris Bell,
                        civil rights advocates
WHEN:      TODAY, February 5, 2004, 3:00 PM (CST)
WHERE:   Weil, Gotshal & Manges, LLP
                        700 Louisiana
                        Suite 1600
                        Houston, Texas

Students at PVAMU have been plagued by the actions of Waller County District Attorney Oliver S. Kitzman over the past months. Kitzman has threatened students at PVAMU with felony prosecution for "illegal voting" if they choose to cast a ballot on election day in Waller County. The PVAMU community is seeking an injunction today in order to peacefully reaffirm their voting rights as Texas residents. The students are represented by the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, along with People For the American Way Foundation, the NAACP and the ACLU of Texas.

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