Thousands of mail-in ballot requests have been rejected in North Texas counties
The law was passed by Texas Republicans last year. It requires potential voters to submit one of two forms of identification on the application — either their driver’s license number or the last four digits of their Social Security number — and it must match whatever was used during initial voter registration.
The deadline for these applications is Friday, February 18. County election offices must receive them to this date.
As elsewhere in the stateNorth Texas counties had to reject hundreds of mail-in ballot requests due to new ID requirements.
-In Tarrant County, 1,323 mail-in ballot requests received between Jan. 1 and Feb. 17 were rejected due to the new law, or about 52% of all rejections. Tarrant County Chief Electoral Officer Heider Garcia said 13,960 good applications were processed.
-In Collin County, approximately 300 mail-in ballot requests were denied and 6,949 accepted. Chief Electoral Officer Bruce Sherbet said nearly all of the county’s denials were related to ID requirements.
-In Dallas County, 1,623 applications were denied on Tuesday, including 1,022 due to the new law.
“The majority of these rejections are due to individuals who have not provided the required identification for SB 1,” Chief Electoral Officer Michael Scarpello told the Dallas County Commissioners Court.
Earlier this month, Dallas County Commissioners approved nearly $75,000 to hire a contractor to educate voters, notify them of rejections so they can eventually submit new mail-in ballot applications. Outreach included phone calls, radio advertisements and social media posts.
“Everything the state has done regarding SB1 has been thick, chunky, hard-to-read text,” he said. “And that’s why we’re trying to simplify the message to say…if in doubt, fill it in.”
In other words, fill in all the numbers on an absentee ballot application so that it matches the voter’s original registration file.
Scarpello said his office sent out a new mail-in ballot request with rejection letters.
The new identification requirement also applies to the absentee ballots themselves. ID numbers on return envelopes must match those on file.
While hundreds of those ballots have been blocked due to missing or mismatched ID numbers, voters still have time to fix or “fix” them if they go to their local election office. county. They can check the status of their ballot by mail here.
“Any ballots with disputed status can be corrected by voters if they come to our office and complete the proper paperwork,” Garcia said.
KERA News is made possible through the generosity of our members. If you find these reports helpful, consider making a tax-deductible donation today. Thank you.