Texas voter registration forms hindered by supply chain issues as deadline nears

Voter registration deadline is on Jan. 31

Karina Shumate, 21, a college student studying stenography, fills out a voter registration form in Richardson, Texas, Saturday, Jan. 18, 2020. (AP Photo/LM Otero) (Lm Otero, Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

The Texas Secretary of State’s Office is reportedly limiting the number of voter registration forms given to advocacy groups due to supply chain issues.

Because of a shortage of paper and cost constraints, Assistant Secretary of State for Communications Sam Taylor confirmed to Austin NPR station KUT that their office can only provide organizations with up to 2,000 registration forms. KUT first reported the story on Tuesday.

“We are treating all organizations that request these the same,” Taylor said. “We are trying to fulfill these requests as fast we can. But the fact is we simply don’t have the supply to honor every single request for free applications.”

The shortage will likely affect efforts by voter advocacy groups across the state, who work to register new voters ahead of elections.

Complicating the shortage further is the need to print new applications after Senate Bill 1 went into effect, which upgraded the penalty for illegal voter registration.

“And that has to be reflected on the new voter registration application,” Taylor told the radio station.

A person submitting an old registration form may still see their application accepted as long as the application is otherwise valid, Taylor said.

This latest snag in election administration issues comes after multiple counties, including Bexar, have reported a massive increase in rejected mail ballot applications, also caused by the new voting law.

The voter registration deadline is slated for Jan. 31. Texas does not have online voter registration, but you can complete an online form before mailing it or dropping it off at your local election office.

To check your voter registration status in Bexar County, click here. To find out which precinct you live in, click here.

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About the Author:

Fares Sabawi has been a journalist in San Antonio for four years. He has covered several topics, but specializes in crime, courts, open records and data visualization.