The strengthened Texas voting law is resulting in a swift rise of rejected mail-in voting applications and ballots.

The law, titled SB 1, went into effect in December and it requires a complex voter identification process. Added requirements include providing a driver’s license number or the last four digits of the voter’s social security number. At least one of the numbers must match what the state has on file. Republicans in right-leaning states were quick to introduce and pass restrictive voting laws following the 2020 election, which former President Donald Trump called “rigged” and “stolen.”

Harris County, which includes Houston and Tarrant Country, which encapsulates Fort Worth, has seen hundreds of eligible voters’ ballots rejected. Last month, Harris County reported up to 30% of its ballots were not accepted due to the tightened voting law, but the country is required to tell the voter if their ballot was rejected. After having time to fix it, the county reported a 13.54% rejection rate.

If a voter is not able to correct their mistake and mail in a new ballot on time, they must vote in person, which could be difficult for the group who qualifies to utilize mail-in voting in Texas. The demographics that are able to mail in their ballots include those who are above 65 years old, disabled citizens, those who are out of town and eligible voters in jail.

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