New Texas Vote by Mail Application Requirement Implemented by SB1Wednesday, January 19, 2022
Today is January 19, which means that eligible registered Texas voters have a little less than a month remaining to request their mail ballots for the upcoming March 1 primary (NOTE: Applications for mail ballots for the 2022 primary election in Texas must be received by February 18, 2022).
Since many campaigns create and send out their own mail ballot applications, these campaigns must recognize that Texas Senate Bill 1 (“SB1”), which was signed by Governor Abbott on September 7, 2021, implemented a new identification requirement when requesting a mail ballot.
Effective December 7, 2021, Texas voters must now provide one of the following identification numbers on their mail ballot applications:
- Texas driver’s license number;
- Personal identification number or election identification certificate number issued by the Department of Public Safety (NOTE: this is not the voter’s voter registration number).
If a voter has not been issued either of these forms of ID, the voter must provide the last 4 digits of the voter’s Social Security #.
If a voter has not been issued any of these forms of ID, then the voter must check the box on the application affirmatively stating so; however, voters should NOT check this box if they simply cannot find or remember their ID number. They must make an effort to include their ID number if they have been issued one of these forms of ID.
Out of an abundance of caution, local elections officials are recommending that voters provide BOTH their Texas driver’s license/personal identification/election identification certificate number AND the last 4 digits of their Social Security number.
As a reminder, Texas voters (who must already be registered to vote) are eligible to vote by mail if they meet one of the following conditions:
- Are 65 years or older;
- Are sick or disabled;
- Are out of their county of residence during the early in-person voting period through election day; or
- Are in prison but otherwise eligible to vote.
If you have any questions about drafting vote by mail applications in Texas, please contact Chris Gober ([email protected]) and Eric Wang ([email protected]).
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