Voters Who Submit Ballots by Mail Must Be Assured Their Votes Will Count
SAN ANTONIO, TX —Today, the League of Women Voters of Texas, along with individual plaintiffs and partners, filed a complaint against the Texas Secretary of State to resolve the unclear and unfair rules for rejecting mail-in ballots in the state. Richardson v. Texas Secretary of Stateargues that Texas law fails to provide uniform standards for signature comparison and fails to give voters the ability to cure their ballots if they are marked for rejection.
“Every election, the League assists and educates thousands of voters on the rules around mail-in voting,” said Grace Chimene, president of the League of Women Voters of Texas. “When the rules are unclear, voters lose confidence in the election process. And when voters are also not given a chance to cure their ballots, they effectively lose their right to vote.”
After plaintiff Dr. George Richardson voted by mail in the 2018 election, he received notice that his ballot was not counted due to a signature mismatch. Richardson was informed that the decision to reject his ballot was final, and he was never given an opportunity to provide additional proof that the signature on his ballot was in fact his. Richardson’s experience highlights severe problems in the Texas state code’s rules around mail-in voting.
“Voting by mail is an essential avenue for many citizens to participate in our elections,” said Chris Carson, president of the League of Women Voters of the United States. “Voters who are elderly, disabled, or otherwise unable to vote in person must be allowed to participate with confidence that their votes will be counted.”
The League of Women Voters of Texas and other plaintiffs are represented in the case by the Texas Civil Rights Project. Richardson v. Texas Secretary of State is expected to be heard in the fall.