53% of vote-by-mail applications rejected in Tarrant County. How to make sure yours isn’t

·1 min read
Amanda McCoy/amccoy@star-telegram.com

Nearly 53% of applications submitted to Tarrant County for an absentee ballot have been rejected, most because of missing driver’s license numbers and Social Security Number digits, elections administrator Heider Garcia told county commissioners at their meeting Tuesday.

The trouble comes after a state bill that went into effect in December requires applications to include either the applicant’s driver’s license number, last four digits of their Social Security number or a statement that the applicant has neither number. The numbers must match the numbers a person used to register to vote, Garcia said.

Tarrant County residents aren’t the only ones being affected by the new rules. The bill — which opponents say limits access to the polls and disenfranchises minority, disabled and older voters — has resulted in hundreds of rejections across the state. In Travis County a few weeks ago, 50% of voter applications had been rejected, with Harris and Bexar Counties also reporting issues with abnormally high numbers of rejections.

The solution to make sure your application isn’t rejected: Put both your drivers’ license and last four digits of your Social Security number when you register to vote or when you apply for a ballot, Garcia advised.

He said those who have already registered should update their registration with both numbers.

“As long as one of them matches, it’s a go,” Garcia said.

Those who have their applications rejected will be sent a letter in the mail along with a new form to try again.

The deadline to apply for a mail-in ballot is Feb. 18.

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