Harris County Commissioner Rodney Ellis, Election Administrator Clifford Tatum Educate Eligible Voters on Minimizing Risk of Having Mail-in Ballots Rejected
A high number of mail-in ballots were rejected in the March primaries following the implementation of Texas Senate Bill 1, which is considered one of the most restrictive voting laws in the country. In the lead-up to the General election, Harris County Commissioner Rodney Ellis and Elections Administrator Clifford Tatum on Monday, Oct. 3 provided updates on what the county is doing to address these issues and shared information about what steps voters eligible to vote by mail can take to minimize the chances of their ballots not counting in November.
They also reminded voters that the registration deadline is Tuesday, Oct. 11, and encouraged voters to take advantage of Early Voting, which begins Monday, Oct. 24, to save time.
“Harris County is committed to ensuring that every eligible voter is able to freely and fairly cast a ballot,” Commissioner Ellis said. “We’re doing our part to fight voter suppression and remove obstacles where we can.”
More than 12% of mail-in ballots in Texas were rejected in the March primaries because of the burdensome changes to vote by mail, which voting rights advocates warned would unfairly disenfranchise elderly and disabled voters.
In Harris County, the numbers were even higher. The Elections Administrator’s Office reported that 19% of mail ballots were rejected due to SB 1 in the primaries compared with .3% in the 2018 primaries.
Harris County communities with large Black populations, like Precinct One, were 44% more likely to have mail ballots rejected, according to an analysis from the New York Times.
“This is unacceptable,” Commissioner Ellis said. “It’s un-American. Every voter has the right to vote free from burden, harm, or obstacle.”
Said Tatum: “Our office is doing everything it can to ensure all Harris County voters confidently participate in this coming election, whether it’s with a mail ballot, or in-person on the new voting machines.
From adding customer support specialists to our mail ballot team to hosting dozens of community events so that voters can learn about the process and practice on machines in demonstration mode, we’re meeting voters where they are to empower Harris County.”
The law requires that voters eligible to vote by mail provide either their Texas identification number such as a driver’s license or their Social Security number on their mail ballot application and ballot-carrier envelope when they send in their ballots. The number provided must match the voter record.
Guidance from the Secretary of State’s office and Harris County Elections Administrator’s Office states that voters eligible to vote by mail can write both ID numbers to minimize delays or rejections. It’s also recommended that eligible mail-in voters provide a phone number and email on their ballot application and ballot-return envelope so election workers can reach out to voters to quickly resolve any issues.
“The Elections Administrator’s Office is working round the clock to ensure elections are accessible and secure and that every voter can exercise their right to vote,” Commissioner Ellis said. “We want to make sure that voters who are eligible to vote by mail have the information they need.”
Voters eligible to vote by mail can contact the Voter Services Team at 713-755-6965 in the Harris County Elections Office to receive assistance throughout the process. Help is available in English, Spanish, Chinese, and Vietnamese.
October 16, 2023, HOUSTON, TX – Congressional Candidate Amanda Edwards has raised over $1 million in less than 4 months, a substantial sum that helps bolster the frontrunner status of the former At-Large Houston City Council Member in her bid for U.S. Congress. Edwards raised over $433,000 in Q3 of 2023. This strong Q3 report expands on a successful Q2 where Edwards announced just 11 days after declaring her candidacy that she had raised over $600,000. With over $829,000 in cash-on-hand at the end of the September 30th financial reporting period, Edwards proves again that she is the clear frontrunner in the race. “I am beyond grateful for the strong outpouring of support that will help me to win this race and serve the incredible people of the 18th Congressional District,” said Edwards. “We are at a critical juncture in our nation’s trajectory, and we need to send servant leaders to Congress who can deliver the results the community deserves. The strong support from our supporters will help us to cultivate an 18th Congressional District where everyone in it can thrive.” Edwards said. “Amanda understands the challenges that the hard-working folks of the 18th Congressional District face because she has never lost sight of who she is or where she comes from; she was born and raised right here in the 18th Congressional District of Houston,” said Kathryn McNiel, spokesperson for Edwards’ campaign. Edwards has been endorsed by Higher Heights PAC, Collective PAC, Krimson PAC, and the Brady PAC. She has also been supported by Beto O’Rourke, among many others. About Amanda: Amanda is a native Houstonian, attorney and former At-Large Houston City Council Member. Amanda is a graduate of Eisenhower High School in Aldine ISD. Edwards earned a B.A. from Emory University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. Edwards practiced law at Vinson & Elkins LLP and Bracewell LLP before entering public service. Edwards is a life-long member of St. Monica Catholic Church in Acres Homes. For more information, please visit www.edwardsforhouston.com
As September 13th rolls around, we extend our warmest birthday wishes to the creative powerhouse, Tyler Perry, a man whose indomitable spirit and groundbreaking work have left an indelible mark on the world of entertainment. With his multifaceted talents as an actor, playwright, screenwriter, producer, and director, Tyler Perry has not only entertained but also inspired audiences worldwide, particularly within the African-American community, where his influence and role have been nothing short of powerful. Born in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1969, Tyler Perry’s journey to stardom was a path riddled with adversity. Raised in a turbulent household, he found refuge in writing, using it as a therapeutic outlet. This period of introspection gave rise to one of his most iconic creations, Madea, a vivacious, no-nonsense grandmother who would later become a beloved figure in Perry’s works, offering a unique blend of humor and profound life lessons. Despite facing numerous challenges, including rejection and financial struggles, Perry’s determination and unwavering belief in his abilities propelled him forward. In 1992, he staged his first play, “I Know I’ve Been Changed,” which, although met with limited success, was a pivotal moment in his career. Unfazed by initial setbacks, Perry continued to hone his craft, and by 1998, he had successfully produced a string of stage plays that showcased his storytelling prowess.
Calling all teenage student-athletes! If you have dreams of playing college soccer and wish to represent an HBCU, the HBCU ID Camp is your golden opportunity. From 8 am to 5 pm on November 11-12, Houston Sports Park will transform into a hub for aspiring male and female soccer players. Coaches from HBCUs across the nation will be present to evaluate, scout, and offer valuable feedback. Moreover, they might even spot the next soccer prodigy to join their collegiate soccer programs. This camp is not just about honing your soccer skills but also a chance to connect with the HBCU soccer community. You’ll learn the ins and outs of what it takes to excel on the field and in the classroom, which is crucial for a college athlete. The HBCU ID Camp is an excellent platform to network with coaches, learn from experienced athletes, and take the first steps toward your college soccer journey. To secure your spot at this incredible event, don’t forget to register [here](insert registration link). Space is limited to 120 participants, so make sure to reserve your place before it’s too late. It’s time to turn your dreams of playing college soccer into a reality.