The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Texas Primary:
A Sign of Things to Come

Mar 28, 2022

Nearly 23,000 mail-in ballots were rejected outright in the recent Texas primary that finished March 1.

These rejections came as a result of a new law passed last year that created greater restrictions on mail-in balloting. Each application for a mail-in ballot must include the person’s driver’s license or Social Security number, AND it must match whichever of those numbers was used when the person first registered to vote—which may have been decades ago, since most applicants are over 65. This caused thousands of applications to be rejected. THEN, the actual ballot must also include the correct driver’s license or Social Security number, also a new requirement. Most ballots were rejected because they did not include a number or had the wrong number.

The 23,000 rejected ballots accounted for 13% of all mail-in ballots. Experts say that any number higher than 2% is highly unusual and cause for concern.

This wasn’t the only restriction passed in Texas. In addition, stickers pre-printed with the applicant’s address are no longer included on the ballots; and no one is allowed to apply for another person’s ballot—even when the other person is a relative, even a spouse, living in the same household!

These restrictions amount to attacks on all working class and poor people, for whom any extra hurdle to getting, filling out, and returning a ballot may be the final strike against it being submitted and counted. They are done deliberately to cancel out the votes of anyone not likely to support the Republicans, including sections of black voters.

And it’s not just Texas. At least 17 other states have passed tougher restrictions on voting that will impact the elections this year. Texas is just the first one to have its primary in this election year.

It’s another sign that as the ruling class increases its attacks on working people, it is less and less interested in allowing us to participate in their “democracy” at all.