Senator Royce West asks “What’s next?”
Special to The Dallas Examiner
State Sen. Royce West, D-Dallas, publicly questioned Tuesday why the Texas Secretary of State’s office is rationing voter registration applications less than two weeks before the Jan. 31 deadline to register to vote in the March Primary Elections.
“Texas has a shortage of paper, and Texans should be short on patience,” West said.
“We all understand that supply chain issues exist because of COVID-19. However, the Secretary of State’s Office has known since Sept. 9, when Gov. Abbott signed Senate Bill 1, that legislative enactments – the bill’s passage – would require the reprinting of all voter registration cards.”
He 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.
“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,” he said.
As a member of the Senate Finance Committee, 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.
He 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?” he asked. “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?’”