AUSTIN, Texas - Texas Secretary of State John Scott has issued a statement saying he was ‘surprised’ by the Travis County Clerk's Office's announcement that it had rejected an unusually large percentage of applications for a ballot by mail for the March 1 Primary Election.
Fifty percent of applications for mail-in ballots in Travis County have been rejected as of Jan. 13, says the county clerk's office. Many other counties are experiencing the same high rejection rate, says the office. Williamson County reported that its rejection rate is 40% because of similar issues.
In a press release, John Scott accused Travis County of making the decision to reject these mail ballot applications before contacting his office.
"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, with the goal of reinstating and minimizing any disruption to eligible voters who have properly submitted their application for ballot by mail," the press release said. "We anxiously await the results of their re-processing of these mail ballot applications."
The press release goes on to urge all county election officials to contact the Texas Secretary of State's office to "seek advice and assistance on the correct method of processing mail ballot applications."
Eligible voters who want to track their mail-in ballot applications to their respective county can use the recently launched Ballot by Mail Tracker, available on the Texas Secretary of State's 'My Voter Portal.'
Through the Ballot by Mail Tracker, voters are able to see whether their application for a ballot by mail was accepted or rejected, and can correct any mismatched identification information by following the prompts in the tracker, according to the press release.
Under Texas law, you are only eligible to vote by mail if you are:
- 65 years or older
- Sick or disabled
- Out of the county on election day and during the period for early voting by personal appearance
- Expected to give birth within three weeks before or after Election Day
- Confined in jail, but otherwise eligible