From today’s Buzzfeed News:
Julie Crum and her 91-year-old mother, Darlyne Crum, residents of Canyon Lake, Texas, first filled out applications for mail-in ballots in January, which they qualify for in the state because they are both over the age of 65. The applications were rejected — they accidentally hadn’t specified which party’s primary they wanted to vote in. So they filled out the forms again. Julie got her ballot after that, but her mother’s application was rejected a second time because of an issue with her ID number.
The second rejection letter, shared with BuzzFeed News, was dated Feb. 12, but Julie says her mother didn’t receive it until Feb. 16, two days before the mail-in ballot application deadline. Once again, the form was corrected and sent back, but they were worried the application hadn’t made it in time to meet the deadline.
Julie said her mother would be able to vote in person if she absolutely had to. “But it’s more than a little infuriating that she would have to,” said Julie, a Democrat who votes regularly. Julie said it’s never been this difficult for her and her mother to vote. “I didn’t plan on all this taking so much time and energy, so I’m kind of working it out as we go.”
Darlyne’s ballot arrived in the mail Thursday, just five days before Texas’s primary election, and they’re “pretty confident” their votes will be counted. But their frustration and struggles aren’t unique. Thousands of mail-in applications and ballots have been returned to voters ahead of the March 1 primaries with no guarantee that they’ll be sent back in time to be counted. The dilemma results from a new law that has effectively tightened access to the ballot for eligible voters, just as the law’s critics feared. Texas, the state that kicks off this year’s primary season, was one of several states that made a push for more restrictive voter laws following the 2020 elections, despite the fact that elections in the US have consistently been found not to have widespread voter fraud. Now Texans are running into the realities of those measures, from trouble successfully applying for mail-in ballots to having their actual ballots rejected because of ID number issues. Voting rights advocates have pointed to the state as an example of what’s at stake for voters across the country without federal protections.
Read the complete story here.