Harris County officials provide updates on mail ballot application rejections, share steps to ensure mail ballots are counted

Here's what we know

HOUSTON – Harris County Commissioner Rodney Ellis and Harris County Elections Administrator Clifford Tatum held a press conference Monday to encourage eligible residents to register to vote by using guidance provided by the Elections Administration Office.

During the event, officials addressed the issues that were seen in the previous primary and share key information with those eligible to vote by mail.

“In March 2022, Texas and Harris County experienced an alarming increase in vote-by-mail rejections. Every voter has the right to vote free from burden, harm, or obstacle,” Ellis said in a release. “Harris County is committed to ensuring that every eligible voter is able to freely and fairly cast their ballot. We’re doing our part to fight voter suppression and remove obstacles where we can.”

According to the Texas Secretary of State, to be eligible to vote early by mail in Texas, you must:

  • be 65 years or older;
  • be sick or disabled;
  • be out of the county on election day and during the period for early voting by personal appearance; or
  • be expected to give birth within three weeks before or after Election Day; or
  • be confined in jail, but otherwise eligible.

“Our office is doing everything it can to ensure all Harris County voters confidently participate in this coming election, whether it’s with a mail ballot, or in-person on the new voting machines,” Tatum said in a release. “From adding customer support specialists to our mail ballot team to hosting dozens of community events so that voters can learn about the process and practice on machines in demonstration mode, we’re meeting voters where they are to empower Harris County.”

Here are the following identification requirements to vote in Texas:

- Voters MUST provide either their Texas identification or Social Security Number on their application to vote by mail and return ballot carrier envelope.

- The number provided MUST match the voter record. The Texas Secretary of State and Harris County guidance recommend that a voter eligible to vote by mail provide BOTH forms of ID to minimize delays or rejections.

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