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Government/Politics

Mail-in ballot rejection rate in Bexar County falls to less than 1% after reaching 22% in March

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Joey Palacios / Texas Public Radio
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The Bexar County Elections Office is severing as a early voting site for the 2022 primary election.

The mail ballots of Bexar County voters in the primary runoff are being returned at a significantly lower rate when compared to the March primary election earlier this year.

About one in five mail ballots for the March Primary were being rejected by the elections office under rigorous new standards set by the Texas Legislature under SB1, the state’s new controversial voting law. However, as of the day before the May primary runoff election, the rejection rate has dropped to less than 1% according to the Bexar County Elections Administrator.

About 16,000 mail ballots have been received by the office so far and the rejection rate is drastically lower than the 22% seen in March.

“The rejection rate for the Democrats is 0.9% and the rejection rate for the Republicans is 0.4% so we are genuinely thrilled,” said Bexar County Elections Administrator Jacque Callanen.

There are twice as many Democratic Primary ballots that have been received compared to Republican Primary ballots, Callanen added.

The county is still receiving mail ballots and can receive them up to 5 p.m. on Wednesday as long as they are postmarked by 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 24.

SB1 requires that voters include either the last four digits of their social security number or Texas Driver’s License number when filling out the return envelope. However, that new requirement was overlooked or misapplied by voters when put into practice in March.

In March, out of the 18,000 ballots received, about 4,000 were rejected.

After that, Callanen said her office made adjustments.

“Just from looking at the raw numbers right now, it looks like it worked,” she said.

That included an insert that was in both English and Spanish.

“We came up with an insert to put in there to assist the voters so they don’t miss on the envelopes with the very tiny print that they need to put on their (Texas Drivers License), or the last four of your social, so we are really excited and now at this point now we’re looking forward to November,” she said.

Another adjustment was increasing the font size on the envelope relating to the new SB1 requirements.

“What we basically did was, we took the area under the flap with all the legalese and we blew it up,” she said referring to the font size which she said was boosted to 12 point font.

For those voting in person, the polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and voters in Bexar County can vote at any polling site under the county’s recently added countywide voting system.

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