Analysis shows mail-in ballot rejections soared under new tougher Texas election law

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About 23,000 mail-in ballots were discarded in recent Texas primary elections, according to an analysis by The Associated Press. That’s about 13% of all mail-in ballots from the 187 Texas counties that responded to the AP’s survey.

County election officials and the Texas Secretary of State’s office say most of the rejected mail-in ballots failed to meet voter ID requirements stemming from the state’s new voting rules, which include that mail-in voters use the social security or driver’s license number that matches what they used to register to vote. Most releases were in the Houston area. Harris County election officials say they rejected nearly 7,000 — or 19% — of mail-in ballots.

Acacia Coronadoa Report for America reporter for the Associated Press, told the Texas Standard that some voters whose mail-in ballots were rejected also faced difficulties trying to correct their ballots before Election Day .

Listen to Coronado’s interview in the audio player above or read the highlights below.

– The AP sent surveys to all of Texas’ 254 counties, but received responses from officials in only 187, which reported how many mail-in ballots were submitted and how many were rejected.

– The rejection rate in the Texas primary was particularly high – at around 13%, compared to a typical rate of around 1% in Texas.

– The AP found no significant difference in ballot rejections between Republicans and Democrats. Coronado says both sides were affected.

– Most counties told the AP that the reason for the majority of rejections was that voters did not meet the ID requirement, which was part of the new law passed in 2021. The law now requires voters put their driver’s license or social security number on the ballot that matches the number a voter used to register to vote.

“People had to put what they originally put down to vote, and so some people may not have realized what it was,” Coronado said.

– Mail-in voters were given the opportunity to correct incorrect ballots. But Coronado says some voters struggled with that process, including a voter who couldn’t get to county offices to correct her ballot because she was elderly and ill.

“Those are very representative of some of the things we heard from voters in Texas when we contacted their ballots,” she said.

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