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Paper shortages causing problems leading to Texas primaries

The Texas Secretary of State's office may be handing out fewer voter registration forms. Here's why.
Posted at 8:10 PM, Jan 19, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-20 08:46:18-05

WACO, TX — The Texas Primaries are coming up fast, but there are some voter registration problems starting to surface.

The Texas Secretary of State's office said a paper shortage is to blame, due to supply chain issues. That means the office will be handing out fewer voter registration forms to groups that help people get registered.

Grace Chimene, President of League of Women Voters of Texas said this year the political match-up is met with another obstacle.

"The secretary of state says there is a shortage of paper," Chimene said.

Sam Taylor with the Texas Secretary of State's Office said, "Because of the shortage, the office has been forced to limit each group to 1,000 to 2,000 forms per request."

Chimene says they got even less.

"One of the last emails we asked for 1,000, we got 50," Chimene said.

The cost of printing the forms then falls to the nonprofit.

"We're going to have to find some donors to pay for some printing," Chimene said.

To put it in perspective, the overage cost nationwide to print a form is 18 cents. Registration groups can average up to 30,000 new registered voters, like the league in Houston, through naturalization ceremonies. That would come to 5,400 hundred dollars.

A pricey penny just to participate. Another point, what about using older forms?

"We do clarify that with the secretary of state office, if you do have an older voter registration form, it still works," Chimene said.

Without these forms, we could possibly see eligible voters missing come March. On top of the shortage, new laws are in place because of Senate Bill one.

The state has now increased the penalty for illegal voter registration from a Class B misdemeanor to a Class A misdemeanor.