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Texas rejects more than 2,000 voter registration applications

With just over a month until the midterm elections, more than 2,000 people across Texas had their voter registration application rejected by the state. (CBS Austin)

With just over a month until the midterm elections, more than 2,000 people across Texas had their voter registration application rejected by the state.

The Secretary of State’s Office said Thursday the affected counties include Travis, Bexar, Dallas and Cameron.

Sam Taylor with the Secretary of State’s Office said the election administrator of Cameron County in South Texas notified them about the issue.

“The Cameron County election administrator called us on Monday saying they had received a couple of these applications that looked like they were digital pictures of signatures rather than signatures,” said Taylor.

Some of the voter registration applications were coming from Vote.org, the non-partisan organization geared to helping people register to vote and understand voter laws. It said they deployed an online tool that registered 2,400 Texans -- or so they thought.

State officials said the applications submitted by the group weren’t valid because they have to include a handwritten signature and that signature can’t be a digital copy or a picture of a signature.

However, according to the Houston Chronicle, Texas election law is not clear as to whether a handwritten signature is necessary. It calls for a voter registration to be “submitted by personal delivery, by mail, or by telephonic facsimile machine” and states that it must be “in writing and signed by the applicant.”

Attorney Sarah Jackel with Vote.org said their online voter registration tool for Texas was designed where potential voters would fill out information then take a picture of their signature so they can later fax it in. Jackel said the rejection of the voter registration applications was “absurd.”

The deadline to register to vote in the midterms is October 9th, but those being directed to resubmit their paperwork by mail with corrected signatures will still have 10 days to do so.

The Secretary of State’s office said to know if you’re registered or to become registered, visit votetexas.gov.

Texas is one of 12 states that does not allow online voter registration. For more about Texas voting laws, click here.

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