“Ballot Rejections in Texas Spike After New Voting Law”


Local election officials in Texas have rejected thousands of absentee ballots based on requirements set by the state’s new election law, an alarming jump that risks potentially preventing some Texans from voting in Tuesday’s primary election.

The state’s Republican and Democratic primaries will be the first elections held since the Republican-led Texas Legislature overhauled the state’s election laws. Election officials in the most populous counties have rejected roughly 30 percent of the absentee ballots they have received — more than 15,000 ballots — as of Wednesday, according to a review of election data by The New York Times.

The ballots were rejected largely because voters either did not include their driver’s license number or the last four digits of their Social Security number, or the numbers they put down did not match what officials had on file. The new identification requirements were put in place by the voting law passed last year, known as Senate Bill 1.

The rate of rejection represents a significant increase from past elections, including in 2020, when the statewide rejection rate was less than 1 percent for the general election, according to data from the federal Election Assistance Commission. In 2020, officials rejected 8,304 ballots in Texas out of nearly a million votes statewide. This year, that statewide number has already been surpassed in two counties alone: Harris County and Dallas County rejected more than 8,600 ballots as of Wednesday….

The rise in rejections in Texas is the earliest sign that the spate of new election laws passed across the country last year after the 2020 election are having an effect. In the battleground states of Florida and Georgia, Republican legislatures passed sweeping new voting laws with identification requirements for the absentee ballot process that are similar to those in the Texas law. Florida and Georgia will hold their primaries later this year.

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