New election integrity laws in Texas flagged 27,000 suspicious mail-in ballots as the Lone Star State leads the nation in efforts to begin restoring trust in elections.
With the first primary elections of the year in the rearview mirror, results show the new election laws led to a significant increase in recognition of suspicious ballots in the state’s March 1 contests.
According to a survey of the election results by The Associated Press, “the initial rejection rate among mail voters in the Texas primary was roughly 17% across 120 counties.”
“Although the final number of discounted ballots will be lower, the early numbers suggest Texas’ rejection rate will far exceed the 2020 general election, when federal data showed that less than 1% of mail ballots statewide were rejected,” the AP added.
The flagged ballots are not necessarily all invalid and voters are offered a period of time to “fix” their ballot to make it conform to election laws. Some of those “fixes” included proving that the vote is valid by showing proof of residency.
“New requirements include listing an identification number — either a driver’s license or a Social Security number — on the ballot’s carrier envelope,” the AP explained. “That number must match the county’s records. If a ballot is rejected, voters could add an ID number via an online ballot tracking system, go to the county’s election offices and fix the problem in person, or vote with a provisional ballot on election day.”
Making a lie of the left’s claim that the new law is “voter suppression” targeting Democrats, the number of rejected ballots showed no obvious partisan split in light of the voting in the 2020 election between then-President Donald Trump and Democrat Joe Biden.
According to the AP, “in the five counties won by Trump that had the most mail-in voters, a combined 4,216 mailed ballots were rejected or still pending after the day of the election, a rate of 21% of the total. In the counties won by Biden with the most mail-in voters, which include most of Texas’ biggest cities, a combined 11,190 votes were similarly rejected or pending, which amounted to 13%.”
Texas Secretary of State John Scott noted that the higher rejection rate is most likely explained by voters being unfamiliar with the new election laws.
Still, the state’s most populous county, Democratic-dominated Harris County, had the most trouble with the new laws, so much so that it led to a county election official’s resignation.
Harris County, home to the city of Houston, initially reported that a whopping 11,000 ballots were rejected. Many Democrats quickly pointed to that report as proof that the election laws were discriminatory. But the AP noted, in a March 2 preliminary report, that the county downgraded that number to 3,277.
Those numbers would amount to just under 19 percent of the 36,878 mail-in ballots the county received, according to Houston Public Media,
That’s high, considering the rejection rate for the primary election for the 2018 midterms was 0.3 percent, according to that outlet.
But the numbers of rejected ballots are still far short of the 11,000 first reported by Harris County Elections Administrator Isabel Longoria, which would have been a rejection rate of almost 30 percent.
Harris County’s primary was so plagued with problems that Longoria was forced to resign from the job, effective July 1, but that didn’t stop her from attempting to say the Texas election law is discriminatory.
“It doesn’t excuse any mistakes that were made. But to ignore the culture of fear and lies that lead to political violence and an attack on our democracy is to miss a crucial variable in this problem,” she said, according to an AP report from March 8.
Democrats like Longoria continue to insist that voter ID laws are merely a way for Republicans to suppress the vote of black Americans. But the data show no such outcome.
Indeed, the true statistics show just the opposite. According to the liberal Brookings Institute, black voters have had a higher turnout rate than many other minority groups. And in 2012 and 2016, black Americans even had a higher voting rate than whites. Also, black voting has risen with every election since 1990, well before voter ID laws began.
There is no evidence at all that the black vote is hampered by voter ID and residency requirement laws.
In any case, kudos to Texas for finally taking the first steps to “true” our elections. Every state should follow the Lone Star State’s example.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.