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First Day Of Early Voting Begins Monday

By ANNA-MEGAN RALEY, CBS Houston
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(credit: ANDREAS SOLARO/AFP/Getty Images)

(credit: ANDREAS SOLARO/AFP/Getty Images)

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Voting early is helpful to the voters and to those personnel working on Election Day. Early voting in Texas begins Monday, Oct. 24.

Houston Times And Locations For Early Voting

There are two ways to vote early in Texas.

1. Early Voting in person-

Early voting in person may be easier than you think. You don’t have to stand in long lines on Election Day. Registered voters may vote early at a location convenient to them within their political subdivision. Early voting in person generally starts 17 days before each election and ends 4 days before each election. Early voting for the May uniform election date begins 12 days before the election and ends on the 4th day before the election. If you can drive or if you have a friend or relative who can drive you, you don’t even have to get out of the car. Call ahead to notify the early voting clerk that you want to vote from your car. This procedure is called “curbside voting” and is available to any voter who has difficulty walking or standing for long periods. The election official will bring your ballot to your car outside the polling place. Curbside voting is available during early voting and on Election Day. State and Federal law requires all early and Election Day polling locations to be physically accessible to voters with disabilities. Call your election official for information on your particular voting sites.

2. Early Voting by mail-

You may vote early by mail if you are:

  • going to be away from your county on Election Day and during early voting;
  • sick or disabled;
  • 65 years of age or older on Election Day; or
  • confined in jail, but eligible to vote.

A request for application for ballot by mail by mail must be submitted to the early voting clerk on or after the 60th day before Election Day and before the close of business on the 7th day before Election Day. If the 7th day is a weekend, the last day to submit an application is the preceding Friday.

If you are voting early by mail, you must send your application by:

  • regular mail;
  • common or contract carrier; or
  • FAX (if a FAX machine is available to the early voting clerk and if you are submitting your application from outside the county).

Exception:

  • If you are voting early because of expected absence, you may apply in person for a ballot by mail before the first day of early voting in person.

You may obtain a formal application from the early voting clerk in your county or from the Secretary of State’s web site or toll-free at 1-800-252-VOTE (8683). You do not have to use a formal application; however, an informal application must be in writing and include:

  1. your signature (or a witness’ signature if you cannot sign);
  2. your name and the address at which you are registered to vote;
  3. the address to which the ballot is to be mailed;
  4. the election date and for which election you are requesting a ballot (for a primary election, you must state the political party’s primary in which you wish to vote); and,
  5. a reason why you are eligible to vote early by mail (to be eligible to vote early due to expected absence from the county, your application must state an address out-of-county to have your ballot mailed).

The early voting clerk must receive your marked ballot by 7 p.m. on Election Day.

Exception:

  • If you are mailing your ballot from outside the United States, the early voting clerk must receive your ballot by the fifth day after Election Day. (You must mail it no later than 7 p.m. on Election Day.)

This information is provided online by the State of Texas Elections Division.

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