AUSTIN (KXAN) – With elections just around the corner, some are considering other options of voting as opposed to heading to the polls.
In Texas, voting by mail is limited to voters who are:
- 65 years of age or older on Election Day,
- sick or disabled,
- expecting to give birth within three weeks before or after Election Day,
- absent from the county of registration during the Early Voting period and on Election Day,
- civilly committed under Chapter 841 of the Texas Health and Safety Code, or
- confined in jail but otherwise eligible.
Texas voters eligible to vote by mail are required to provide an identification number from a valid Texas driver’s license, personal ID, election ID certificate or the last four digits of their Social Security Number on both their Application for a Ballot by Mail and mail ballot carrier envelope.
An Application for a Ballot by Mail can be obtained by:
- downloading the application
- requesting an application from the Secretary of State’s office, or
- requesting an application from the Early Voting Clerk in your county
“As long as one of the ID numbers provided matches what is on the voter’s registration record, the voter’s ABBM and ballot can be accepted,” Texas Secretary of State John Scott said.
For eligible voters planning to submit their ballot by mail, the Application for a Ballot by Mail must be received, not postmarked, by Oct. 28 at your county’s Early Voting Clerk’s Office.
The application may be submitted by in-person delivery, regular mail or common or contract carrier.
Applications are also accepted through fax or email; however, the original, hard copy of the application must also be mailed and received by the early voting clerk no later than the fourth business day after it was originally submitted.
“Please take the time to read the instructions your county gives you carefully before putting your ballot in the mail. Don’t forget to provide an ID number under the flap of the carrier envelope to protect the security of your personal information,” Scott said.
After receiving the mail-in ballot, review each choice in each race or proposition to be voted on, and mark your choices by following the instructions on the ballot envelope.
“After you mark your ballot, place your voted ballot in the envelope marked “BALLOT ENVELOPE” and seal the ballot envelope. This ballot envelope protects the secrecy of your ballot,” Scott said.
The ballot envelope is then placed inside the carrier envelope, but before it is sealed, you must include one of the previously listed identification numbers inside in a provided space.
The carrier envelope can then be sealed, signed and returned to your county’s Early Voting Clerk by mail, by common or contract carrier or in person on Election Day.
The deadline for returning a voted mail-in ballot is 7 p.m. on Election Day (Nov. 8) or 5 p.m. on the first business day after Election Day (Nov. 9) if the ballot was postmarked by Election Day.
For military voters and U.S. citizens overseas, the deadline for returning a voted mail-in ballot is Nov. 14.