Angela Thomas, Caring With Grace
Article by Laurie Miller, Apple Care and Companion
People have a lot of questions and concerns about voting in Texas in 2020 but we all agree that we want to help as many eligible voters vote safely and as confidently as possible. Because this election is occurring in the middle of a pandemic, the safety of our health is a new concern. More people will be voting by mail than normal. This will put a burden on the postal system and may delay sending and receiving applications and ballots. It is so important to plan and act now. Check your registration, register to vote and/or request your mail in ballot TODAY! If voting in person, plan to vote early.
How To Register to Vote in Texas
In Texas, you must be registered to vote at least 30 days before the election. You cannot register online. You can request an application online or print out an online application but you must fill it out, sign it and mail it or turn it in to the county Elections office.
It is important to verify that your voter registration information is current and correct. If you’ve moved, changed your name or haven’t voted in four years, you will need to update your information. Don’t wait, check it today.
Here are the steps via League of Woman Voters:
1. Check your voter registration status at votetexas.gov
2. Voters who move to a new address within the same county or changed their name while remaining in the same county, can update your information online.
3. New voters or voters who move to another county may use the League’s VOTE411.org voter registration tool or print a voter registration application, fill out, sign, stamp and mail in or turn in to your county election office
4. Voter registration applications are at your library, government offices, or high school! Fill it out, sign it, and mail it in!
§ You do not need to register before every election.
§ If you are not registered, you need to register 30 days before the election. This year, don’t wait and act TODAY!
§ Your county voter registrar can help you with voter registration concerns.
§ If you are registered to vote, you will receive a new voter registration card in the mail every two years. If you move it will not be forwarded.
Who Can Register to Vote?
§ A citizen of the United States,
§ A resident of the county, and
§ 17 years 10 months old (to vote you must be 18 years old on Election Day).
§ You must not have been declared mentally incapacitated by a court of law.
§ If you have been convicted of a felony, you may register to vote only after you have completed the punishment phase of your conviction, including any terms of incarceration, parole, supervision, or period of probation ordered by the court.
Voting early is easy!
Due to the pandemic, Texas has added an extra week of early voting. Early voting begins October 13th and ends October 30th. Election day is Nov 3rd. Times vary per county but will be open 7 days a week.
Registered voters may vote early in person at any early voting location in their county.
You must have your appropriate Voter ID with you when you vote in person. Avoid crowds by voting during non-peak hours. The busiest times are on the weekday mornings between 7am-9am, lunch time 11:30am-1:00pm and after work 5:00p-6:30p. Least crowded times will by 10am-11:30am or 1:30pm-3:30pm. All voters must wear face coverings.
All Polling Places Must be Accessible and Offer Curbside Voting.
Curbside Voting Service is available during Early Voting and Election Day to any voter who is physically unable to enter the polling place without personal assistance or likelihood of injuring their health, Curbside Voting is available. If you have an assistant with you, when you arrive at the polling location, have them notify the election official at that time. The election official will then bring everything you need to your car outside the polling location.
Vote By Mail
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
You must be registered to vote in Texas in order to request your Vote by Mail ballot.
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
More information click HERE.
For more information on voting in Texas, click on VOTETEXAS.GOV
To learn more about this topic or individualized care for your loved one, please contact us at Caring With Grace to speak with one of our compassionate experts in family caregiving.