2022 primary early voting, Day Three: Mail ballots still getting rejected

Story time.

Thousands of mail-in ballots have been sent back to voters statewide over new identification requirements, the latest in a saga of election troubles linked to Texas’ new voting law.

Early voting is now well underway for the March 1 primary election, as local elections officials juggle that problem alongside their usual responsibilities.

At first, counties were returning mail ballot applications en masse over the ID stipulation, as voters are required to provide the same identification number they used when first registering to vote. Many Texans have written down their driver’s license number when they registered with a Social Security number and vice versa.

Those record rejection rates on the applications have since slowed, but local officials are now encountering the same problem with the mail ballots themselves.

As of Monday, Harris County had sent 38 percent of filled-in ballots back to voters over the new ID requirements. That translates to roughly 2,700 ballots of 7,200 received so far.

Dallas County has also reported higher-than-usual rejection rates, with 26 percent of nearly 1,500 filled-in ballots sent back to voters.

Other counties have reported similar problems over the past several days, with Austin-area counties sending back about 30 percent of ballots for correction.

I will point out again that the Republicans who passed this law could have delayed its implementation until 2023, so as not to disrupt the much-higher turnout elections happening this year, and to give an adequate amount of time for the Secretary of State to produce materials and education county officials, and for county officials to get up to speed and ask their questions and train their volunteers and so forth. They did not choose to do that.

Anyway. Here are your Day Three early voting totals. The table for comparison:

Election    Mail   Early   Total
2018 D     7,641  10,946  18,587
2018 R    11,558  10,781  22,339

2020 D    13,793  17,735  31,528
2020 R    13,944  16,856  30,800

2022 D     4,677  14,064  18,741
2022 R     2,966  17,455  20,421

As a reminder, 2018 final totals are here, and 2020 final totals are here. More Republicans have voted each of the last two days than Democrats, and Republicans are leading overall so far, but Dems are slightly ahead of their 2018 pace while Republicans trail theirs. In 2018 Republicans turned out more heavily in week one than Dems did, though that year that was fueled entirely by mail voting. Dems then turned out more heavily in week 2. So far that pattern is holding, but next week has only four voting days, and every year is different.

One more thing to note is that the total number of mail ballots sent is now at 46,739, with 7,473 ballots being mailed out after Monday. Friday is the last days for mail ballots to be sent, so we’ll know soon what that final tally is. It will almost certainly be less than it was in 2018, it’s just a question of by how much. Still don’t know how many ballots were sent to voters in each party yet.

And hey, if you want a deep dive into the state numbers, the first Derek Ryan email was sent out last night, with data for the first two days of early voting. We now have full statewide numbers for early voting thanks to a law passed in 2019. Ryan is doing most of his comparisons to 2020, and you can see his charts and tables for the Republicans here and the Democrats here. Enjoy!

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4 Responses to 2022 primary early voting, Day Three: Mail ballots still getting rejected

  1. Leonard says:

    “Thousands of applications for mail-in ballots submitted by Texas voters have been delayed — and some voters may ultimately not receive ballots — because Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick’s campaign instructed eligible voters to send requests for absentee ballots to the Texas secretary of state’s office instead of their local elections offices.”

    It’s not just Crenshaw screwing his own voters, Dan Patrick is doing it too. What a bunch of dum dums.

    Curious where the folks here saying they were rejected or nothing happening with their applications got their forms.


  2. Mainstream says:

    My friends on the west side who had problems had rejections from Isabel Longoria’s office even though they had correctly completed the forms. Returned for “no party identified” when in fact the form asked for a Republican primary ballot.

    I suspect we will find that many of the vendors for a variety of candidates who handle these mailings used out of date forms.

    I also wonder if many R voters have been convinced that mail ballots are unsafe, or that using the US Post Office is an unsafe way to vote, and will be planning to vote in person this year. If so, we could have some long lines on election day.

  3. Leonard says:

    They should contact the Tribune. Pretty easy to engage the writers by email in my experience.

  4. Karen says:

    As an election day clerk, I can assure you that there will be long lines in the mid-terms with the use of paper ballots. The ballot for this primary involves 2 sheets, and paper jams do occur regularly. A third station to scan slows things down even more. To top things off, I am aware of at least one Early Voting site in Clear Lake which ran out of ballots on the 2nd day of voting. The polls had to turn voters away while they waited for the EA office to show up with more paper. This could be disastrous in the fall. Lots of disenfranchising of in-person voters

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