Texas election officials have rejected a few hundred mail-in ballot applications out of thousands, but Reuters is trying to frame the story as proof of Republican voter suppression.
“Texas election officials have rejected hundreds of mail-in ballot applications, abiding by a new Republican-backed law just weeks before a March 1 primary kicks off this year’s U.S. election cycle,” the outlet reported on Tuesday.
By “just weeks,” the outlet means “more than a month,” which should be plenty of time for the small number of people to correct identification errors on their mail-in ballot applications.
The second paragraph of the article is a quote from Travis County clerk Dana DeBeauvoir, a Democrat, insisting that “this is what voter suppression looks like.”
Travis County, Texas, rejected 300 mail-in ballot applications due to a recent state law requiring stricter identification. The law requires those applying for a mail-in ballot to provide their driver’s license number or Social Security number for identification. This number must match the number provided when they first registered to vote. The majority of ballot application rejections are because people failed to provide a proper ID number.
Some people have run into problems because they may have provided one number when registering to vote but another when applying for a mail-in ballot. Such an error would be caught but would be easily corrected before election day. If not, registered voters are still able to vote in person as they had been able to do in every election before 2020.
“Harris County, which includes Houston, had rejected 409 out of 1,373 applications as of last Friday for ID problems, including 309 missing ID numbers and 173 with numbers that did not match those on file, according to Leah Shah, a spokesperson for the county elections office,” Reuters reported. “In Bexar County, home to San Antonio, officials had processed more than 300 rejections through last week out of some 1,200 applications, elections administrator Jacquelyn Callanen said in a phone interview. Around 80% of those were due to the new ID requirements.”
The issue is already being solved quickly and easily. A spokesperson for Texas Secretary of State John Scott’s office said they had reached out to Travis County and provided guidance saying they could accept applications that included both a driver’s license and a Social Security number, provided one of those numbers matches the number on file.
The framing is par for the course for the media, which repeats Democrat claims that requiring identification to vote amounts to “voter suppression” and that their solution amounts to “voting rights” legislation.
The vast majority of Americans approve of requiring an individual to prove who they are in order to cast their vote, and doing so does not “disenfranchise” legal voters. Further, what the Democrats are demanding in their “voting rights” legislation amounts to keeping in place numerous policies adopted during the pandemic that are unnecessary now and weren’t handled properly in 2020 and didn’t include basic identification protections.
What Democrats are actually advocating for is a federal takeover of state election laws so that they can control them instead of the states, many of which are led by Republicans.
“The truth is this is not about voting rights,” Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) said last Tuesday in an appearance on Fox News. “This is about a partisan political power grab, and they are just trying to dress it up and sell it as something else. I just don’t think the American people are buying it.”