The Texas newest voting law has flagged more than 27,000 mail ballots for rejection earlier this month. It puts the rate of rejected mail ballots in Texas on track to significantly surpass previous elections.
The preliminary figures — reported by Texas counties after votes were counted in the state’s March 1 primary — is the fullest picture to date of how new election rules rushed into place by Republicans following the 2020 election made it harder for thousands of voters in both parties. Some will wind up not having their ballots count at all.
About 17 percent of mail ballots in 120 Texas counties were initially rejected, according to an analysis of county figures by The Associated Press. The counties examined by the AP represent the majority of the almost 3 million voters in Texas’ primary.
The AP’s analysis suggests that the number of rejected votes in the Lone Star State this year will pass previous elections by a large margin. In 2020, about 8,300 mail ballots were rejected in the state, according to the AP, which accounts for less than 1 percent of mail ballots cast in Texas.
The news wire noted, however, that the final number of mail ballots rejected from this year’s primaries will be lower than currently on record, as voters were given until Monday to “fix” their ballots that were rejected, according to the AP.
The Daily Wire reported that the state of Texas has passed the election integrity law that would require voters to submit identification on both their mail-in ballot application and the ballot itself:
“Election integrity is now law in Texas,” Abbott said before signing.
The bill takes several measures to ensure integrity in casting ballots, instituting a ban on drive-through and round-the-clock voting, and adding an ID requirement for mail-in and absentee ballots.
“Those who do want to vote-by-mail must now provide their driver’s license number or the last four digits of their Social Security number when they’re applying for a mail-in ballot and when they send it back in,” the Daily Mail explained. The same measure also mandates that polling locations in areas with more than 55,000 residents offer at least 12 hours of early voting.