Daily Kos: Thousands of ballots rejected in major test of Texas' restrictive voting laws

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While voting in person carries its own challenges, it was likely easier for Texans to cast their ballots at polling places than risk sending a mail-in ballot. Credit: Getty Images.

By April Siese/Daily Kos

Who could have seen this coming? Texas’ highly restrictive new voting laws tripped up thousands of voters, resulting in nearly 23,000 ballots being thrown out, according to the Associated Press. The AP was able to receive voting information from 187 of Texas’ 254 counties, accounting for 85% of the 3 million voters who (attempted to) cast their ballots for the March primary. Whereas ballots are typically rejected at low percentages in Texas and around the country, the state saw at least 13% of mail-in ballots discarded and uncounted based on the counties the AP was able to obtain data from. MIT Election Data and Science Lab Director Charles Stewart III summed it up pretty concisely when reached by the outlet: “My first reaction is ‘yikes.’” Same, dude.

The Voting Rights Program Director for the Texas Civil Rights Project—a group that has consistently fought against legislation like SB 1 and even filed a lawsuit against the state over it—was sharper with his words. “Voter suppression in Texas is, unfortunately, not novel to 2022, but this data is alarming and so is our state lawmakers’ disregard for protecting voters’ rights. We are calling on the Texas Legislature to repeal this provision and for our federal government to finally enact voter protection—before the midterms. If not, we risk further threat to our democracy.” Voting Rights Program Director Hani Mirza said in a statement. The suit was filed by Texas Civil Rights Project as well as other organizations like the ACLU of Texas and Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund. It rightly claims that vulnerable communities will face such restrictive conditions to vote that their voices may not be heard at all. Sadly, groups like the Texas Civil Rights Project seem to be losing their lawsuits left and right in the fight against voter suppression.