Monday, May 23, 2022

Texas running out of paper? Voters running out of patience!

DALLAS — State Senator Royce West (D-Dallas) on Tuesday publicly questioned why the Texas Secretary of State’s office is rationing voter registration applications less than two weeks before the Monday – January 31 deadline to register to vote in the March Primary Elections.

“Texas has a shortage of paper, and Texans should be short on patience,” said Senator West.

“We all understand that supply chain issues exist because of COVID-19. However, the Secretary of State’s Office has known since September 9, when Governor Abbott signed Senate Bill 1, that legislative enactments – the bill’s passage – would require the reprinting of all voter registration cards,” Senator West continued.

Senator West said he finds it very hard to believe that the Secretary of State’s Office has not been able to come up with a solution to the problem, given the months of lead time they had to address these issues.

 

Sen. Royce West

“Now, they claim they don’t have the paper or the money to print enough registration cards, and blame it on supply chain issues. The reality is they have had months to fix this, to find suppliers, and make certain we would not have a shortage of voter registration applications,” Senator West said.

As a member of the Senate Finance Committee, Senator West cites a KUT Radio story that ran early Tuesday morning as the first he had heard of any need for additional funds for printing voter registration applications due to cost increases resulting from supply chain issues.

Senator West also noted that the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts’ website lists at least two paper mills or production plants within Texas’ $2.1 billion paper industry that produce paper used in consumer printing, such as that required for voter registration cards.
“What’s next?” asked Senator West. “The Legislature pushed to approve controversial, partisan, legislation that’s already made it more difficult for people to register and vote. Now there’s a paper shortage and a claimed shortage of funds is limiting the number of voter registration applications that can be produced and procured by the Texas Secretary of State. I ask again, ‘what’s next?’” said Senator West.

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