AUSTIN (KXAN) — Travis County will continue a program that notifies voters if a mail-in ballot is rejected because of a mismatching signature.
Travis County Clerk Dana DeBeauvoir told KXAN voters whose ballots are flagged by the county’s ballot review board will be notified in the mail and will be given the opportunity to fix their ballot.
“I would rather that we could find a way to contact them more swiftly, an email or some other way to get the word out more quickly, because it’s the time delay that’s really the problem,” DeBeauvoir said.
DeBeauvoir said mail-in ballot voters should utilize the county’s ballot tracker and should call the county clerk’s office if they have concerns about their ballot being counted.
A federal appeals court on Monday allowed Texas to reinstate its process for reviewing mail-in ballot signatures, while also noting the state does not have to immediately notify voters whose ballots are rejected.
The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals issued a stay to a lower court injunction that said the state must notify a voter if a mail-in ballot is rejected. The state once again must only notify a voter of a rejected mail-in ballot within the 10th day after an election and does not have to provide an appeals process.
So far, more than a half million ballots have been cast in Texas for the November elections.
“Realistically, what will happen is the 5th Circuit will return to this sometime in the future when it’s not hurried, layout perhaps in more detail what’s inbounds and what’s not inbounds and will be armed with that for the next election,” said David Coale, a Dallas-based attorney.
In Hays County, 10 of nearly 8,000 mail-in ballots have been rejected because of mismatching signatures. A county spokesperson did not immediately explain whether voters with rejected ballots would be notified and given an opportunity to fix the issue.
Harris County, like Travis, will notify voters about any issues with mail-in ballot signatures, a spokesperson said Monday.
Williamson County will not allow voters with rejected mail-in ballots to fix the issue. Chris Davis, the election administrator there, said changing a mail-in ballot is not allowed in Texas law.