Travis County election officials are seeing record numbers of vote-by-mail applications ahead of the July 14 primary runoff.
According to the Travis County Elections Division, the office has received more than 28,000 applications so far.
“This volume is near the level of the 2016 Presidential election and may break the record of 31,000 [ballot-by-mail applications] within the next few days,” officials wrote in a statement.
Officials say under normal circumstances they would expect between 1,000 and 2,000 applications ahead of a primary runoff election.
Texas has one of the most limited vote-by-mail programs in the country. It’s open only to people who are over 65, out of town during an election, in jail and not convicted, or have a disability.
Texas Democrats are asking federal courts to force the state to expand access to mail-in ballots during the pandemic. So far, courts have issued a series of contradictory opinions and the program remains limited ahead of the runoff.
In the meantime, local officials are urging people who qualify to apply. The last day to request a mail-in ballot for the primary runoff is July 2.
Travis County officials said in a statement that they already have started sending out batches of ballots, which they will continue to do daily.
“We have increased production every day starting Monday, June 15,” they said in a statement. “We plan to continue at this pace until all current requests are processed.”
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