There is No Voter Fraud in Texas, But There is an Attack on the Freedom to Vote
Though widely searched for, there is no election fraud in Texas. Attorney General Ken Paxton’s office spent 22,000 hours looking for evidence of voter fraud in Texas, only to find 16 cases of false addresses on registration forms in a pool of nearly 17 million registered voters. In the end, the secretary of state’s office declared the election “smooth and secure.”
Despite the election audit’s confirmation that Texas elections are secure, the Texas legislature passed SB 1 last year which takes aim at honest, American voters in the name of election integrity.
In reality, the only thing SB 1 accomplishes is making it significantly harder for citizens to vote and for election officials to do their job.
SB 1 Causes Extreme Uptick in Ballot Rejection
Election officials are preparing for an influx in rejected mail-in ballots because of the new ID rules enacted by SB 1.
SB 1 requires voters to provide a driver’s license number or the last four digits of their Social Security number on their mail-in voting applications and ballots. The number provided must match what the state has on file for any given voter. If a voter submits their social security number instead of their driver’s license, their ballots run the risk of being rejected.
After Texas’ March 1 primaries, it is clear just how effective SB 1 is at silencing American voices. In Harris County, officials are seeing an 11 percent rejection rate specific to the new laws. In Travis County, they were rejecting about half of the mail-in ballot applications they received.
Williamson County has sent out about 3,000 ballots and received about 200 back. So far, they’re seeing a roughly 25 percent defect rate in returned ballots, with voters often forgetting to include their identification number on the carrier-envelope.
Making it Harder to Vote
SB 1 also rolled back some options for early voting. The law banned drive-in voting, which was popularized during the pandemic. It also limits early-voting hours to 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. and bans 24-hour voting centers which our nurses and police officers rely on after working long shifts.
SB 1 Goes Against Common Sense Election Integrity Rules
In Texas, only specific groups of individuals qualify for mail-in voting in the first place: those over 65 years old, people with disabilities, pregnant women who are close to their due date, people who are out of town, or people who are in jail but still eligible to vote
The bill makes it a crime to compensate people who help mail voters. This means organizations can no longer have their employees assist voters who have disabilities or limited literacy, many of whom are elderly and need the help.
While SB 1 disenfranchises voters, it actually empowers poll watchers to act out of turn. If poll watchers go beyond their call of duty by harassing or intimidating voters, SB 1 threatens poll workers with criminal prosecution for stopping them.
Protecting Election Integrity in Texas
The American vote must be protected so that our values are reflected in our government. But Texas SB 7 is silencing American citizens by stamping out our freedom to vote.
At this point, this is more than a law. This is an intentional effort to make it harder for hard-working Americans to vote.