From the Office of State Senator Rodney Ellis

For Immediate Release
Friday, February 26, 2004
Contact: Kenneth Besserman, (512) 463-0113

Statement from Senator Rodney Ellis regarding settlement in Prairie View voting Rights Case

"The settlement that was reached in this voting rights and voting registration controversy is an enormous step in the political enfranchisement of Prairie View A&M students. Today, the students of Prairie View, and all colleges and universities in Texas, can now exercise their constitutional right to vote in the county where they attend college.

Justice is often a long road. The Prairie View campus and Waller County have been at the center of the voting rights controversy for a long time. Twenty-five years ago, the United States Supreme Court ruled that college students should not be treated any differently when it comes to registering and exercising their right to vote. Today, with this settlement, I hope that this matter is finally put to rest.

I want to acknowledge the dedication and hard work of the Prairie View student body, the leaders of the Prairie View student government, the Prairie View administration, and all of the lawyers that helped move this case to a quick settlement. I also want to credit District Attorney Oliver Kitzman for recognizing the importance of protecting student voting rights and agreeing to establish a Waller County Criminal Justice Intern and Prairie View Liaison."