HOUSTON – A Harris County man fears new voting laws could prevent him from voting by absentee ballot for the first time in his life.
Kenneth Thompson, 95, checked her mail daily hoping his mail-in ballot was in the pile.
Thompson has been voting since he was 21, and he even remembers paying a $0.25 poll tax in the 1950s.
“I voted for so many years and I never voted,” Thompson said.
Thompson considers voting an obligation. He served in the United States Army during World War II in the European Theater for suffrage and other liberties.
Decades later, the vet fears Texas’ new voting law, SB1, might prevent him from voting for the first time in his life.
By law, Thompson must provide part of his social security number or a driver’s license number that matches his registration with the county or state.
“He registered to vote in the 1940s and they didn’t ask for it,” said Thompson’s daughter, Delinda Holland.
Because Holland was unable to respond to the new request, his application to vote by mail was denied twice. The veteran said Harris County elections officials never notified him and he had to call to find out both times.
“There’s going to be a lot of people who don’t vote,” Thompson said. “If I don’t call about mine, people won’t know.”
Thompson’s daughter, Holland, who voted only in one bond election, said she even tried to contact the Office of the County and State Secretary of State to add her father’s license number to the filings. his online signature. She said she discovered that there was actually no way to do it.
“We know it’s a new law, we’re happy to fix it,” Holland said. “He is a law-abiding citizen. He doesn’t want to miss the vote, and there’s no mechanism yet to add that driver’s license to your profile.”
Holland said she had to re-register her father last week to make sure he completes the January 31, 2022 voter registration deadline. Thompson said he hopes to have a ballot soon. by mail, otherwise he intends to vote in person.
“I can get out, commute and go to a regular polling place, but these people, a lot of people can’t,” Thompson said.
He is concerned about other mail-in voters who may not receive their ballot in the mail for the March Primary Election due to potential problems with their application.
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