Vote by Mail

Vote by Mail

Vote by mail

If you are eligible, apply now to vote at home and stay safe! The deadline to apply is Oct. 23! 

Who can vote by mail in Texas? 

  • 65 years or older
  • Sick or disabled
  • Out of the county during early voting and election day 
  • In jail but otherwise eligible to vote

The Election Code defines disability as “a sickness or physical condition that prevents the voter from appearing at the polling place on election day without a likelihood of needing personal assistance or of injuring the voter's health.”  

Texas Secretary of State

A voter can take into consideration aspects of their health and their health history that are physical conditions in deciding whether, under the circumstances, to apply to vote by mail because of disability.”  The elections office has no legal authority to require voters verify their disability to apply for ballot by mail. 

The Texas Supreme Court 

An explanation of the vote by mail process is in the video below including:

  • Who can vote by mail
  • Who qualifies for sick or disabled and who may be at higher risk
  • How to apply 
  • Tips for filling out your application
  • Application due dates
  • Ballot arrival dates
  • Ballot packet information
  • Tips on filling out your ballot
  • Mailing your ballot
  • Getting help

How to obtain an application to vote by mail:

Fill out the vote by mail application once a year if the voter 

  • Is 65 years or older
  • Is sick or disabled 
  • Checks the annual application

Fill out the vote by mail application for each election if the voter

  • will be out of the county during early voting and election day. This includes students living away at school.
  • is in jail 

Tips for filling out the application

  • If you check "Disabled" - DO NOT WRITE IN YOUR DISABILITY.
  •  Avoid any confusion by election officials and sign both your application and ballot in the same way.
  • Have a ballot mailed to the address where you actually are.
  • Include your contact information in case there is a problem with your application.
  • Mark the annual box for voters 65 years of age or older and voters with a disability.
  • Mark the election you will be voting in. If it is the Primary Election then check the Democratic Primary or the Republican Primary. Check the “any resulting runoff” to automatically receive a ballot.
  • Students living away at school check “address outside the county” box.
  • Write the dates you are out of the county where you are registered. For example, dates away at school.

When will I receive my ballot?

  • Ballots are mailed out 30 - 45 days before an election or 7 days after the county election office receives an application.

How do I fill out my ballot?

  • Use a blue or black pen, not a pencil.
  • Research your candidates with the League's nonpartisan Voters Guide at VOTE411.org.
  • Sign the ballot and the envelope with the same signature you used on your application.
  • Some ballots may need two stamps.

What do I do if I receive a second vote by mail ballot?

  • The Texas Supreme Court ruled that Green Party candidates must be added to the November ballots. A few counties had already sent out vote by mail ballots. Voters in those counties may receive a second updated vote by mail ballot. If a voter sends in one ballot it will count no matter which one it is. Only one ballot will count even if a voter sends back both ballots. 

When does my vote by mail ballot need to be at my county election office?

The vote by mail ballot must be at the county election office on election day.

  • Voters who mail in their ballot should allow plenty of time for the ballot to arrive at the county election office by election day.
  • Voters may use US Post Office or common carriers such as Fed Ex, UPS, DHL etc.
  • Voters may hand deliver a marked ballot in person to the county election office during early voting and on election day while polls are open. In-person delivery for a marked ballot requires a presentation of the person’s ID.  Check with your county election office for more details. See Governor Abbot's proclamation extending early voting.

What if I later decide to vote in person?

  • Take your unmarked ballot with you to the polling station and turn in to the voting clerk. They will instruct you from there.
  • If you lose, or forget, your ballot you can still cast a ballot at the polling station. You will be allowed to vote a provisional ballot. 

What if I become disabled or ill on or after the deadline to request a vote by mail ballot?

  • Contact your county election office for details to request a late ballot. It requires an assistant committed to two round-trips to the election office, as well as a physician-signed certification of your illness or disability.
  • Curbside voting is available to voters who are sick or are physically unable to enter the polling place. Voters may ask that an election officer bring a ballot to their car.

When will vote by mail ballots be counted?

  • Counties with 100,000 population or more, may begin processing the received mail-in ballots on October 22, 2020. Counting mail-in ballots begin after the polls close on the last day of in-person early voting. 
  • Counties with less than 100,000 in population may not begin processing the mail ballots until early voting ends. Counting mail-in ballots begin when the polls open on Election Day. (Section 87.0241). 

When will the results of the election be announced?

  • Voters should not expect all election results to be called or announced on Election Day as in previous elections, and that’s okay.  
  • A delayed result with an increased number of mailed ballots means the system is working as it should to ensure the integrity of our election process.
  • With the increase in vote by mail ballots, counting votes will take more time. A complete and accurate ballot count is more important than a fast ballot count. 
  • With the increase of vote by mail voting in 2020, it is essential that every vote is counted and every voter’s voice is heard. We should all prepare for many election results to be announced after Election Day.