Voter Suppression

Hundreds of Ballots Thrown Out in Texas


Several hundred or even several thousand votes wouldn’t have changed the outcome of the election in Texas, but that’s beside the point.

According to the New York Times, hundreds of provisional ballots were thrown out in Texas because of the state’s new voter ID law.

Such ballots were accepted from voters who showed up at the polls lacking ID approved by the law or had some other identification-related problem, such as a driver’s license expired beyond the 60-day time limit. For their provisional votes to be counted, these voters had to return to their local elections office within six days after the election and show proper ID.

But more than 500 voters in eight counties failed to follow through, and their provisional ballots expired. In Houston’s Harris County, there were 229 such ballots. In San Antonio’s Bexar County, there were 27. Dallas County had 99.

Many conservatives will undoubtedly look at this and say ‘see, 500 cases of fraud were stopped’ and many more will say that their votes shouldn’t be counted if they were too lazy to return.

They would be wrong in both cases. There are numerous reasons why someone may not be able to return, such as their work or child care schedule not permitting it. Some may also lack the means to return or to acquire a form of ID that the law recognizes.

It should be noted that the more than 500 ballots tossed out only account for eight counties. There are 254 counties in Texas. Not all of them are heavily populated, but it stands to reason that a similar scenario played out across the entire state. It could even be worse in rural counties that lack infrastructure.

The concept of “one man, one vote” is no longer the gold standard.