By Nate Odenkirk | Staff Writer
On Tuesday, the Supreme Court in a 6-3 opinion upheld a Texas initiative that gave voters the option to purchase a fastpass to skip the line at polling places. “This is a great day for our state,” said Governor Gregg Abbott (R-TX). “Now, every Texan can exercise their right to vote safely and quickly, for just $59.99.”
The fastpass program was a response to record long lines outside of precincts across the state of Texas. Forced to wait up to eight hours to cast a vote, the fastpass rule is a convenient, if prohibitively expensive, solution. Democrats contended that the fastpass rule violated the 14th, 15th, and 24th Amendments, but conceded that they were super convenient. Republicans in the state soundly rejected the argument that it creates an unequal playing field for lower-income voters, pointing out that “both lines will eventually end up at the polling place,” as the Texas solicitor general explained. “They are separate, yes, but eq—the same. They’re separate but the same.”
Democrats contended that the fastpass rule violated the 14th, 15th, and 24th Amendments, but conceded that they were super convenient.
The Supreme Court’s majority opinion noted that Texas is not the first jurisdiction to implement a fastpass solution. “The reality is, fastpass has for decades been a standard feature in Tomorrowland, Fantasyland, Adventureland, and the State of Alabama,” wrote the conservative and impatient six-justice majority. “Nearly all of those theme parks and rides are enjoyable. Almost all of them.”
Liberal advocacy groups quickly denounced the ruling, but will have to go to the back of the line if they want to sue again. ♦