Nearly 25K Texans’ absentee votes – representing one out of every eight absentee voters – did not get counted because of new requirements for absentee ballots. The statewide rejection rate was 12.4%, a dramatic increase from the 2020 rate of around 1%.

County election officials rejected 14,281 Democratic ballots and 10,355 Republican ballots, according to the Secretary of State’s office. Looking just at absentee voters, those figures represent 13% of Democratic absentee ballots and 12% of Republican absentee ballots. As a result, 1.3% of all Democratic primary voters and 0.5% of all Republican voters’ ballots were rejected.

For the first time, absentee voters were required to write their driver’s license number of last four digits of their Social Security number on the return envelope for their ballot to be accepted. The blanks for those numbers are located under the flap that seals the envelope to protect those numbers from unauthorized eyes. The numbers they write must match the numbers on file with the voter registrar. For many absentee voters, that registration card was filled out years if not decades ago and may not include that information.

The law provides means for voters to “cure” any issues with their absentee ballots. Voters whose ballots were rejected “may come to the [county election] clerk’s office in person to correct the defect” pursuant to Section 86.011(d), Election Code. One of the main reasons people vote by mail is because they are physically unable to go in person, rendering the curing process meaningless for them.

At this point, no one has reported that any rejected absentee ballot was fraudulently cast.

HD93 open (Likely R): Speaker Dade Phelan (R-Beaumont) endorsed Laura Hill (R) in the runoff over Nate Schatzline.

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