Recent claims that he was attempting to reduce the early voting period at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi were enough to send County Commissioner Brent Chesney on the offensive.
Chesney refuted recent reports that he was behind a proposal limiting reduce the number of early voting days at the university before the upcoming election.
The university has been given double the number of days of voting over the last two elections – a trend that will continue this year. After one day of voting in 2014, the number of days increased to three days in 2016 and six days for the upcoming election under the plan.
“Voting has increased at Texas A&M-CC and not decreased,” Chesney said.
A proposal would have provided 10 days at the school. But it would have been done at the expense of other vote centers across the county such as the Army Depot. Chesney said
Texas law states that each precinct must have a proportionate number of vote centers, making the proposal for 10 days at the school illegal.
“What we added at this time followed the law,” Chesney said.
Chesney was elected in 2014 and currently serves Precinct 4, which encompasses all of Port Aransas, North Padre Island, and Flour Bluff and includes parts of the Southside of Corpus Christi from Ocean Drive to the London Independent School District.
Eric Holguin, the Democratic candidate to represent the 27th district in the U.S. Congress, has blasted the vote of Chesney and other board members as a suppression of voters by college staff, faculty and members.
“This came from out of nowhere,” he said.
Holguin, a Texas A&M-Corpus Christi alumnus who still lives near the school, said he plans to vote there when early voting begins on Oct. 29.
The importance of getting youth involved in voting are why he accused Chesney of suppressing youth vote.
“We registered 150 voters in less than two hours yesterday,” Holguin said. “The students want to vote and be a part of the process.”
Holguin plans to still votes at the school, He he was fighting to make sure that opportunity for voting remains strong for all students, faculty and staff at the school.
“It’s still very near and dear to me,” he said. “That’s why it was important to do what we can to make sure the process is there to make it possible for the youth to have voting.”
Chesney said the bipartisan committee, which approved the measure by a 5-0 vote, put aside partisan politics to develop the plan.
“It is very sad that a political candidate who has not even been involved very much in this and did not even show up for the final meeting where we discussed it tries to twist a good thing for political gain,” Chesney said. “ It is very hard for Republicans and Democrats to agree on political things these days but this was agreed to. In the end voting days doubled at Texas A and M CC.”