LUBBOCK, Texas – Hundreds of Lubbock County mail-in ballots have been rejected because of missing information. City officials said the problem is not primarily on the ballot themselves but the envelopes they come in.
Lubbock County Elections Administrator Roxzine Stinson said the updated ballots have caused some confusion among voters. Voters now have to include their driver’s Licenses number or the last four digits of their Social Security number on a section of the envelope in order to validate the ballot.
“We started out with our first batch of mail-in ballots, and only eight applications were rejected. We’re up to about 30% now,” Stinson said.
Lubbock County’s Elections Office said a lot of voters have missed that extra step, and it prevents them from viewing the ballot until that identification has been verified.
“We’ve done everything we can to reach out to voters, and they’ve been very good. They’ve been very positive about returning the corrected applications. A signature verification committee helping us make those calls and send those emails,” Stinson said.
Stinson said that many voters are confused when they’re contacted because that information is also required on the ballot, so having to reprint it on the envelope is confusing. Stinson said it’s just another layer of voter security that’s been added since the last election.
“These ID numbers tell us that’s really you because nobody else should have your ID numbers,” Stinson said.
Stinson said voters need to understand that missing this step delays or resets the process.
“If we reject an application because there’s something that needs to be corrected, the process is about eight steps,” Stinson said. “Whereas it’s normally 1 or 2 [steps]. So, we have to go through each of those steps to make sure we don’t miss something to give that voter the opportunity if they want to correct it,” Stinson said.
Stinson also said people could check the status of their ballot online at Vote Texas. They can also call or swing by the office to ask further questions about their vote.
Lubbock County Elections Office: 1308 Crickets Ave., Lubbock, TX 79401 or call: (806) 775-1339