Your Voting Rights and Accommodations

Disability Rights Texas Handout

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Your Voting Rights & Accommodations

Alternative Voting Options

If you cannot vote in-person at the polling site on Election Day, you may find it easier to use one of the following alternative voting methods:

Provisional Ballot

You have the right to complete a provisional ballot if there is any question about your eligibility. Voters whose eligibility is in question will be allowed to cast a provisional ballot that will be counted once election officials determine the voter is eligible.

Vote by Mail

What is vote by mail?

Vote by mail means that you can get a ballot mailed to you, mark it, and return it by mail to be counted.

Who is eligible to vote by mail?

Anyone who is a registered voter and who is:

What qualifies as a disability to vote by mail?

How do I obtain a vote by mail ballot?

How do I get a vote by mail application?

Get an official application from the Early Voting Clerk in your county, or from the Secretary of State’s office. You can also call those offices and have an application mailed to you. You can also download one at: http://www.sos.state.tx.us/elections/voter/reqabbm.shtml.

Do I need to use the official application form?

No. You can send in a letter asking for a vote by mail ballot, as long as the letter is in writing, and includes:

Can I have the ballot mailed to a different address than my home address?

Maybe. The general rule is that a ballot must be mailed to the address where you are registered to vote. However, if you say in your application that you are going to be away from your county on Election Day, you can ask that it be mailed to another address. Also, if you are age 65 or older, or have a physical disability, you can have your ballot mailed to a hospital, nursing home, long-term care facility, retirement center, or relative, but you must check the blank on the application form that says which address you are providing.

Can I ask someone to help me fill out the application?

Yes. If you need help filling out the form or mailing it, ask someone you trust. If someone helps you fill out the application, you must write that person’s name and address next to your signature on the application. The person helping you must also sign the application.

I have a visual impairment and cannot read a paper ballot. How do I get help?

Yes. You have the legal right to request an accommodation so that you may cast a private and independent ballot. Contact your county’s election office and request a mail-in ballot in large print, braille, or see if they have an electronic version that can be sent to you. If you have additional questions, contact DRTx for questions and/or assistance.

When do I apply for a vote by mail ballot?

You must submit your application to the early voting clerk at least seven (7) days, and no more than 60 days, before Election Day. If the seventh (7th) day before Election Day is on a weekend, the last day to submit an application is the Friday before that. It is a good idea to send in your application 50 or 60 days before Election Day. That way, you will have plenty of time to get your ballot, and if, for some reason, you don’t get your ballot, you will have time to request a replacement ballot.

What if my ballot doesn’t come?

If you are registered to vote and do not receive a ballot, call your county election’s office. They will check that your voter registration is current. If it is, they will mail you a replacement ballot.

What is the deadline to return a vote by mail ballot?

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 5th day after Election Day, and you must mail it no later than 7:00 p.m. on Election Day.

How do I know if my ballot is received?

You may call your county election office and ask if they received your ballot. A record is kept showing each voter whose ballot has been returned.

When will we get the election results?

Ballot counting will not begin until Election Day.

Vote Early In-Person

Who is eligible to vote early in-person?

Any registered voter can vote early in person, for any reason.

How can I check to see if I’m registered?

To check to see if you are registered to vote, please visit:

https://teamrv-mvp.sos.texas.gov/MVP/mvp.do

What if I need to update my address?

Your next steps depend on whether or not you moved within the same county or to a new county. The SOS has additional information on its website. Regardless, you should be allowed to cast a ballot, even if it is limited, if you were registered to vote at your old address.

https://www.votetexas.gov/register-to-vote/did-you-change-something.html

When is the early voting period?

You may vote during the early voting period which begins on October 13, 2020 and ends 4 days before Election Day.

Where can I vote early?

During the early voting period, you can vote at any early voting site that is convenient to you within your county. You don’t have to vote in your precinct.

How do I find out where the early voting polling places are located?

Curbside Voting

How does curbside voting work?

If you are physically unable to enter the polling place, you can ask that an election officer bring a ballot to your car at the curbside, or to you at the entrance of the polling place. After you mark the ballot, give it to the election officer who will put it in the ballot box. Or, at your request, a companion may hand you a ballot and deposit it for you.

Should I call ahead?

It is a good idea to call ahead if you plan to go alone so the election official will be expecting you. If you can’t drive, think about having a friend or relative drive you to the polling station. Call your County Election Official and let them know you would like to vote early and your precinct number. The county official will notify the poll workers. You can find your County Election Official by calling the Secretary of State’s office at 1-800-252-8683, or look on the internet at: www.sos.state.tx.us/elections/voter/county.

Who is eligible for curbside voting?

Any voter who is physically unable to enter the polling place without personal assistance or likelihood of injuring the voter’s health.

Where do I vote curbside?

You can vote from your car outside your polling place in the closest available parking area to the polling place.

When can I vote curbside?

It is available during early voting and on Election Day at every polling place.

Other Important Deadlines

General Rights & Accommodations

Private Ballot

It is your right to cast a ballot privately and independently.

Special Voting Devices
Voting Assistance
Interpreters

For additional information, contact:

Secretary of State Elections Division
P.O. Box 12060
Austin, Texas 78711-2060

512-463-5650 or 800-252-VOTE (8683)
Fax: 512-475-2811;
TTY: 7-1-1
www.sos.state.tx.us

If you need assistance in registering to vote, if you have questions regarding voting, or if you feel that any of your voting rights have been violated, please contact Disability Rights Texas at 1-888-796-VOTE (8683) or e-mail info@disabilityrightstx.org.

 

Created: September 16, 2020
Publication Code: HA32


Disability Rights Texas logo

www.DRTx.org
Statewide Intake: 1-800-252-9108
Sign Language Video Phone: 1-866-362-2851
Purple 2 Video Phone: 512-271-9391
Online Intake available 24/7: intake.DRTx.org

Disclaimer: Disability Rights Texas strives to update its materials on an annual basis, and this handout is based upon the law at the time it was written. The law changes frequently and is subject to various interpretations by different courts. Future changes in the law may make some information in this handout inaccurate.

The handout is not intended to and does not replace an attorney’s advice or assistance based on your particular situation.