Blog: Mail-in ballot rejections by Texas county

Secretary of State’s Office will be tracking rejection data in upcoming elections

By Julie Chang

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The Texas Secretary of State’s Office has released a breakdown of rejection rates by county for March primary mail-in ballots. Some counties reported rejection rates as high as 64%.

Over the course of the election cycle, several media outlets had reported how numerous mail-in ballots were rejected because they failed to meet new state identification requirements under Senate Bill 1, which the Texas Legislature passed last year.

The law requires voters to include their driver’s license number or the last four digits of their Social Security number in their mail-in ballot. If the numbers don’t match the information on their registration file — many voters don’t remember which number they used — the ballot was rejected.

Starr County had the highest rate of rejection at 64%, followed by Jim Wells at 42%. Both counties had an overwhelming number of Democratic mail ballots that made up the total. The largest county with the highest rejection rate was Bexar at 22%.

Among Democratic mail ballots, the rejection rate was 12.9%, about a full percentage point higher than the rate of Republican mail ballot rejections.

The Secretary of State’s Office told County magazine it obtains rejection data directly from counties and will continue to report the data publicly.

To find the rejection data for your county, download the file here.

Also, read the spring issue of County magazine for an in-depth story on mail ballot rejections.