Texans should prepare early if they want to vote by mail in the upcoming presidential election, voting groups say.
Texas officials were recently warned by the U.S. Postal Service about potential delays delivering mail-in ballots, so getting an early start is more important than ever.
Grace Chimene, president of the League of Women Voters of Texas, said voters who qualify and are interested in casting a ballot by mail during the pandemic should apply for one now. It should be received 30 to 45 days before the election.
“I would say a month is plenty of time to research your ballot and turn that ballot in as quickly as you can if you are going to turn it in by mail," she said.
Gov. Greg Abbott is also allowing voters to drop off mail ballots at their local election administrator’s office during early voting and on Election Day. Some counties plan to have multiple locations where voters can do that.
Chimene said voters who don't want to put their ballots in the mail can check the county election website or call the office to find out where those drop-off sites are. Voters will be required to drop off ballots themselves and show ID, she said.
If voters are concerned about whether an application is received, Chimene said, they can call their local election administrator to make sure they are on the county’s vote-by-mail list. She recommends calling a few weeks after submitting an application.
Once a ballot is mailed in, she suggests waiting a week or so before calling the county clerk to make sure it was received.
“In Texas, we don’t have an automated system to follow the vote by mail through the application process and through when the ballot is delivered and when the ballot is received,” Chimene said. “Voters can do that by calling their county election office to make sure that their ballot was received.”
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