Answers to Your Questions About Voting by Mail in Travis County
Options and deadlines for those not going to the polls
Starting the Process
Q: How do I vote by mail?
A: To vote by mail, you must first apply for a ballot. The Travis Co. Elections Division only sends out applications or ballots on specific request from a voter who's eligible due to being over 65 years old or claiming a disability.
Q: How do I apply for a ballot?
A: Download a ballot application at the Travis County Clerk's Office elections VBM webpage: countyclerk.traviscountytx.gov/elections/ballot-by-mail; or an editable PDF version at the Texas secretary of state's website: webservices.sos.state.tx.us/vrrequest/bbm.asp. Print the application; fill it out; and then mail, fax, or email it to the Travis County clerk (see below).
Q: How do I apply for a ballot if I don't have access to a printer?
A: The Travis County clerk's website has specific instructions for how to request a mail ballot in a letter. You may also request a ballot application online at the Texas secretary of state's website, and one will be mailed to you. But time is tight.
Q: I've already voted by mail in another election this year. Do I need to apply for a ballot again?
A: If you checked "Annual Application" in box 6a, then you have applied for a ballot for each election in the calendar year, including any run-offs. If you opted to receive a ballot for only a certain election, then you will need to apply for a ballot again. If you're unsure, check your status on the clerk's website. If you're eligible for VBM due to being out of the country or in jail, you must submit an application for each election.
Q: What's the deadline for applying for a ballot? If I've applied for a ballot, when can I expect to receive it?
A: For the November election, the last day to request a ballot by mail is Fri., Oct 23 (received at the clerk's office, not postmarked). According to the clerk's office, ballots were to be mailed out this week. To check the status of your ballot application, visit www.votetravis.com, scroll to the bottom of the page, and choose the "BBM Status" button.
Q: I've filled out my ballot application – how/where do I send it?
A: You may submit your application by mail, email, or fax, but if you submit it by fax or email, it must also be sent by mail and received in the county clerk's office within four business days of your electronic submission. Email: email@example.com. Fax: 512/854-3969.
Mail: Dana DeBeauvoir
Travis County Clerk – Elections Division
PO Box 149325
Austin, TX 78714-9325
Submitting Your Ballot
Q: I've received my ballot and I've filled it out. What's the deadline for turning it in?
A: The deadline for sending in your actual ballot is Nov. 3, postmarked; and Nov. 4, received. Mail to the address above, or hand-deliver to the Travis County Clerk's Office, 5501 Airport Blvd., through Election Day, Nov. 3.* (Other hand-delivery locations were forced to close down by order of Gov. Abbott, a decision that was widely interpreted as a voter suppression tactic that has sparked legal challenges.)
Q: If I apply for a ballot, can I still vote in person if I so decide? If so, what steps do I need to take?
A: Yes. If you already received a ballot, you may bring it to an early voting polling location to surrender it to an early voting clerk. There, you'll sign a form requesting cancellation of the ballot by mail and then vote normally at the polls. If you don't bring the mail ballot, you'll have to sign an affidavit saying you didn't mark and mail in the ballot; you'll then vote provisionally.
Q: How do I vote if I don't receive my ballot in time?
A: You'll need to go to a polling location and fill out an affidavit (see above).
This article has been updated since publication to include instructions for checking the status of ballot applications.