Mar 16, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Texas tossed out 13% of mail ballots in March primary election, AP finds

Photo of a sign that says "Aqui, vote here" in a parking lot
A woman walks to a polling station to cast her ballot in the Texas 2022 primary election in San Antonio on March 1. Photo: Nick Wagner/Xinhua via Getty Images

Texas discarded and discounted roughly 13% of mail ballots submitted for its March 1 primary, a significantly higher rate than the typical 2%, according to an AP analysis.

Why it matters: Republicans enacted new voting restrictions in the state last year, claiming they would make elections more secure. But the "rejected ballots in Texas alone far exceeds the hundreds of even possible voter fraud cases the AP has previously identified in six battleground states that Trump disputed," AP notes.

Details: AP documented 22,898 rejected ballots from the March 1 primary by contacting all 254 counties, accessing data from 187 counties and examining final vote reconciliation reports.

  • The numbers used in the analysis account for 85% of the 3 million people who voted in the primary.
  • AP found that the rate of ballot rejection was higher in Democratic-leaning counties, especially in the area surrounding Houston, a liberal stronghold.
  • Most of the discarded ballots were rejected because they did not meet new identification requirements, county election officials and the Texas secretary of state told AP.

The big picture: Texas' new law is part of a wave of GOP-led voting restrictions that swept the country after former President Trump lost the 2020 election.

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