As the primary election looms closer on March 1, Texas is experiencing record levels of rejections for mail-in ballots. It’s the latest sign that the massive voter suppression bill Republicans passed, Senate Bill 1, is indeed working as intended.
According to reports from across the state, counties in Texas are being forced to return mail-in ballots due to new ID requirements that were mandated in SB 1. One of the biggest factors for rejected mail-in ballots is that a Texas voter is required to provide an ID number to the inside of the return envelope for the ballot. That ID, such as a driver’s license or Social Security number, also has to match with a voter’s registration record.
In Harris County, over 2,400 mail-in ballots were marked for rejection. That’s roughly a 37 percent rejection rate. That has prompted Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo to issue a warning that “voters are under assault.”
In Dallas County the rate of rejection for mail-in ballots reached 28 percent according to The Dallas Morning News. The deadline for applying for a mail-in ballot is Friday. The Dallas County Democratic Party has been working tirelessly ahead of then, with the understanding that voters will need to check the status of their application.
“We’ve funded over 29,000 mail ballot applications and have made thousands of voter education calls and texts before time runs out this Friday,” said Dallas County Democratic Party Chair Kristy Noble in a statement to the Signal. “Voter suppression is meant to be confusing and discouraging, but we won’t let Republicans win.”
Earlier this week, a district judge struck down one provision in SB 1 that stipulated public officials and election administrators not be able to encourage eligible voters to seek a mail-in ballot. Indicted Attorney General Ken Paxton, however, vowed he would appeal that ruling.