Texas Secretary of State questions Travis County’s high mail-in ballot application rejection rate

(Texas News Radio) — The Texas Secretary of State’s office said Friday Travis County’s mail-in ballot application rejections are far too high from what it should be.

Travis County rejected about half of the applications for mail-in ballots for the March 1st primary election.  The county clerk’s office said the rejections are connected to a new law passed last year requiring applicants provide their driver’s license number or last four digits of their social security number that must match the applicant’s registration record.

“We were surprised to learn for the first time of the apparent wholesale rejection of mail ballot applications by Travis County,” Texas Secretary of State John Scott said in a statement Friday.  Scott said these applications were rejected by the county clerk’s office without contacting the secretary of state’s office for advice or assistance in implementing the new law.

“We call on Travis County to immediately review and re-examine the mail ballot applications in question to determine whether they were processed in accordance with state law,” Scott continued, “with the goal of reinstating and minimizing any disruption to eligible voters who have properly submitted their application for ballot by mail.”

Texas law allows only the following people to vote by mail:

  • 65 years of age or older
  • Sick or disabled
  • Out of the county on election day and during early voting
  • Expected to give birth within three weeks before or after election day
  • Confined in jail, but otherwise eligible to vote

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