SHERMAN, Texas (KXII) — A new Texas law will change how the mail-in ballot application works in the upcoming primaries in March.
So far, this is already forcing counties to reject claims.
The law is Senate Bill 1, and it was not signed into law without controversy.
Democrats left for DC to stop the bill from passing, while Republicans argued it would prevent voter fraud.
It was signed by the governor in September 2021, and it creates stricter rules on who can vote by mail and who can’t.
“A lot of things have changed,” said Fannin County Clerk Tammy Biggar.
The application for voting by mail will be different this year due to Senate Bill 1.
“It’s a mixed blessing,” Biggar said. “I understand that they are trying to prevent voter fraud.”
So far, the Grayson County Elections Administration says it has had to reject at least 100 mail-in ballot requests.
In 2020, he said more than 2,000 people voted by mail.
Grayson County said one of the main reasons for rejecting an absentee ballot application is because of the Section 1 box.
Voters can either put in a driver’s license or state ID number, or the last four digits of a Social Security number.
But if the information the county already has on hand doesn’t match, they’ll have to send it back for a retry.
For example, suppose a voter submitted their driver’s license number to register in a past election, but only listed their social security on this new form.
In this case, the department will have to reject it.
“From my perspective, it just seems like it’s made it a lot harder for our seniors to be able to get those requests,” Biggar said.
Biggar said one way to ensure applications are accepted is to fill out both the driver’s license and the Social Security square.
And don’t forget to select a primary to vote for.
“In Fannin County, our local decisions will be made in this primary, and then whoever wins will go to the polls in November unopposed, unless the other party has a nominee,” Biggar said.
Applications are due February 18, but the sooner they are submitted, the better.
The Grayson County Election Administration has a printable application on its website.
You will need to call and request one in Fannin County.
The new law obliges each individual to file an application.
One person cannot request one on behalf of another.
And there are also requirements regarding who can vote by mail.
A person must be 65 or older, have a disability, expect to be out of county, or plan to give birth around election date, or be in jail to be approved.
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