May 12, 2022/Media, Press

With Sham Hearing, Texas Republicans Fail to Address the 24,000+ Texas Voters Disenfranchised During the March Primary

AUSTIN, TX — Today, The Texas House Elections Committee held an interim hearing where the Republican leadership yet again completely abrogated their duties to Texans. Republican Chairman Briscoe Cain chose to focus that hearing on his own political agenda instead of focusing it on the 24,000 Texans who were disenfranchised during the primary election as a direct result of Republicans’ decision to pass anti-voter legislation last year.

According to the Secretary of State, 24,636 mail ballots were not counted in the 2022 Primary election. This amounted to a 12.4% rejection rate, more than 10 times the rate in the 2020 general election. And those figures under-represent the impact of SB 1, which also led thousands of additional eligible Texans to have their mail ballot applications rejected and never receive a mail ballot in the first place.

There are mail ballots being processed right now for the May 7th and May 24th elections in which voters are being disenfranchised due to the requirements and poor guidance around implementing SB 1.

Texas Democratic Party Voter Protection Director Rose Clouston issued the following statement about the House Elections Committee hearing: 

“Texas Republicans are using the same old playbook: Deflecting with a red herring instead of addressing the real problem Texans faced during the election – senior citizens and disabled Texans had their mail-in ballots thrown in the trash just like the AARP and disability rights organizations said they would. And the fact that preserving those Texans’ right to vote was not top priority for Cain and Republican leaders tells us everything we need to know about their regard for our sacred right to vote.

“The legislature passed a law that disenfranchised over 24,000 Texans in the primary election. But Republican legislators refuse to do their job and find out what went wrong that led to so many eligible voters being denied their right to vote. This decision to not address the mail ballot rejection crisis lets Texans know that disenfranchisement was the outcome Texas Republicans wanted all along.

“Cain claimed in the hearing that the committee will meet again to discuss mail ballots, but Texas Democrats are not waiting for empty promises made by Republican politicians looking to score political points instead of fixing the problem. Republicans stole those Texans’ votes and appeared unrepentant. They won’t even pretend to look for solutions that ensure Texans’ right to vote is protected. And not one of the Republicans that championed SB 1 – including Chairman Cain – has contended that those ballots were cast illegally.”