How to make sure your mail-in application is accepted in time for March's primary election

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- If you're planning on applying for a mail-in ballot for March's Primary Election, you have until Feb. 18 to do so.

New voting requirements mean local officials are rejecting more applications than usual in 2022. In Harris County, about 30% of mail-in ballot applications sent in this year have been rejected.

"Right now, we are seeing about an 11% new rejection rate specific only to the new voting laws, those ID requirements, which brings our percentage up to 30% rejection rate on mail ballot applications," explained Leah Shah, with Harris County Elections. "To put that into context, in the 2018 primary, with is the last comparable year, we saw a 6% rejection rate for any and all reasons."

When you send in your application, you're now required to provide either a state-issued ID, like a driver's license number, or the last four digits of your Social Security Number.

But here's the part that's confusing a lot of people: The ID method you provide must match what's already on your voter record file. So, if you don't know what's on your voter record, just put in both numbers.

To check the status of your application, you can visit the Texas Secretary of State's website.

If your application is rejected, workers at your local election office will notify you, and send you a new application with an explanation of why it was rejected.

Officials are hoping rejection numbers will decrease, as people correct previously rejected applications.

"Give us as much information as possible," said John Oldham, the Fort Bend County Elections Administrator. "Most all of these applications are from people over 65 and normally, the vast majority of them come as a result of mailings from the two political parties."

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