AUSTIN (KXAN) — Several advocacy groups gathered at the Texas State Capitol Saturday to protest concerns with Texas’ voting systems and to encourage people to cast votes.

Black Voters Matter, along with other groups such as the NAACP, ACLU and Austin Justice Coalition, hosted a rally, legislative trainings and a town hall, among other outreach events over the weekend. The event was called “Texans Address the Union.”

They also brought the “Blackest bus in America,” a bus used as a part of a national outreach initiative to reach Black voters.

Organizers said last month’s primary election in Texas showed the need for voting rights advocacy in that many mail-in ballots were rejected, which they say excluded Black voters disproportionately. They also talked about the state’s recent redistricting efforts.

  • Black Voters Matter event
  • Black Voters Matter sign
  • Black Voters Matter event

“The only way we can make a difference and a change is by voting,” one of the speakers, a representative from Planned Parenthood, said. She spoke about Texas’ abortion law during the event. It’s one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the country.

Early voting kicked off Monday, April 25, and goes through Tuesday, May 3. Election Day is Saturday, May 7. Early voting turnout has been low so far in Travis County.