EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – The elections process has several changes in Texas and voters are already seeing the effects ahead of the March 1 primary election.

“Don’t think how the election process was in 2021 is how it is now,” El Paso County Elections Administrator Lisa Wise said.

El Paso County elections officials are scrambling to process mail-in ballots with new laws leading to more of those getting rejected. Senate Bill 1, the newly passed law, was dubbed by Texas Republicans as a “voter integrity” bill.

“Generally in January, we would send reminders to voters 65 and older that voted by mail in the past letting them know that their mail-by-ballot has expired and asked if they would want to do that again, the law prohibits us from doing that,” Wise said.

It also requires mail-in ballot applicants to provide a valid driver’s license number or the last four digits of their social security number to match their voter registration record. If those numbers don’t match, the application is, by law, automatically rejected.

“We’ve approximately had 2400 applications so far, we’ve rejected 166 and without SB1 we would’ve rejected 11,” Wise said.

She said the majority of those rejected are due to the new ID rule.

“They didn’t use to have to put that, so now, a lot of times, they are just leaving it blank or using forms from last year they have so it’s not even on there as a requirement,” Wise said.

Wise said those rejected do have the opportunity to fix the form and send it back.

“We are reaching out to those voters, we’re working diligently to reach voters we rejected and sending a new form and hoping we see them back and get a ballot to them as soon as possible, “Wise said.

Carol Wallace, the President of the League of Women Voters of El Paso, said the new changes can make it difficult for voters ages 65 and older, which make up the majority of mail-in voters.

“It’s the older voters who are doing vote by mail who don’t have access to technology and you know older voters like to vote, and it’s going to be more difficult now,” Wallace said.

Wallace said her organization was doing everything it could to inform voters of the changes.

“We’re one big country and elections are the foundation of our democracy, the more people get this information the more people are able to vote,” Wallace said.

The last day to register to vote ahead of the March 1 primary election is January 31.

Voters can seek more information with the League of Women Voters of El Paso or by contacting the El Paso County Elections Department.