In September 2021, Texas passed a set of voting rights limits restricting when counties can offer early voting and blocking them from sending unsolicited mail-in voting applications. Already, we are seeing a high amount of mail-in ballot applications being rejected due to provisions Senate Bill 1 has enacted. If people can’t receive information about how to fill out the voting apps, then you will have a high rejection rate.
The Texas Secretary of State’s Office says it has only a limited number of physical applications to make matters even more complicated as we head towards the 2022 midterms. According to CNN, ongoing supply chain issues make the cost of paper higher.
Texas Secretary of State spokesman Sam Taylor told CNN the state ordered a bulk supply of forms on November 8th and just received them. If there are a limited amount of actual voting applications in hand– Texas should allow you to register online. Well, no. Online voting registration is not permitted in Texas–which in 2022 is crazy.
Right now, “voters can update their registration information through Texas.gov, and people can register to vote while renewing their driver’s licenses or personal ID cards through the Texas Department of Public Safety, Taylor said.
League of Women Voters of Texas is one organization that has requested forms. President Grace Chimere stated, “it should be no surprise that there would be a great demand for voter registration forms before the deadline to register to vote for the March Texas primary.”
Chimere went on to describe to CNN her organization’s Houston’s branch experience talking to the Secretary of State’s office was like:
“The League of Women Voters Houston Area contacted the Secretary of State’s office about the lack of new voter registration applications,” she said. “The response was dismissive — despite past practices, the Office is now saying that providing voter registration forms to the League is not in the budget, there is a paper shortage, and the League should look elsewhere for subsidies.”
Texas Secretary of State spokesman Sam Taylor added this:
He sent CNN the response that he says was directed to the League of Women Voters: “Due to several factors including vendor delays and budgetary constraints, we are not available to provide this volume of applications. We are working diligently to fulfill all requests with a reasonable amount given the current circumstances. We have offered a copy of the print-ready pdfs to your organization so that they can print the desired quantity.”
Taylor said they had explained that organizations and interest groups can get 1,000 to 2,000 forms at a time, and if they need more they can come back and request them.
The deadline to register to vote for the Mar. 1st Texas primary election is Jan. 31st. People older than 65 and who qualify automatically to vote by mail can’t get mail-in ballots because of the new law. It looks like another case of Texas being Texas.