|Voting at the polls
Early voting is open now and runs through October 30. That’s 6 more days than usual, but don’t wait until Halloween Eve! CTD strongly recommends voting as early as possible during the early voting period to allow time to resolve polling place accessibility issues (or find a new location) and to avoid crowds.
Voting by mail
Just like voters going to the polls, we strongly recommend that voters using a mail-in ballot drop their ballot in the mail as early as possible. If you’re registered in Bexar, Harris, or Travis counties, you’ve got an additional resource: you can track your ballot once you’ve mailed it to ensure it’s reached your county clerk.
A note on mail-in ballot drop boxes: we’re back to ONE drop off location per county, as a federal appeals court ruled earlier this week to uphold Gov. Abbott’s executive order.
Remember, your signature may determine if your vote counts in this election! If you vote by mail, make sure the signatures on your Ballot by Mail Application and carrier envelope match as closely as possible. Otherwise, your vote may be thrown out.
A note on signature stamps
On September 2, CTD staff and our members had an open conversation about voting issues. During those discussions, our members asked if they can sign their mail-in ballot application and the return envelope with their signature stamp.
Since many of our members are choosing to vote by mail for the first time due to COVID-19, CTD reached out to the Secretary of State’s office (SOS) for their position on Texans with disabilities using a signature stamp for voting in this election. The current position of the SOS is “a person who wants to use a signature stamp on a mail ballot application or carrier envelope must have a witness sign the document for the voter pursuant to Section 1.011 of the Texas Election Code.”
What that means for you during this election? To ensure your vote counts, if you plan to use your signature stamp, you must read all the directions that come with your mail-in ballot, especially the ones that speak about how to have someone sign and witness your carrier envelope.
Unfortunately, if you’re voting by mail in order to avoid contact with others, the SOS’s policy is not going to help you.
With policies, court decisions, and (mis)information changing everyday, we’ve got them too! Some suggestions:
- Join REV UP Texas’ Plan Your Vote! live Q&A tomorrow, Thursday, October 15 on Facebook live. This event will focus on voters with disabilities and issues of concern to them, including voting by mail, early voting, polling place accessibility, and how to report voting complaints. More details.
- CTD is launching our next wave of Raise Your Voice! sessions Wednesday, October 21—and we’re returning to the topic of voting! CTD Deputy Executive Director Chase Bearden will revisit our members’ concerns about voting in the General Election, plus give an update of our plans to protect accessible voting in the 2021 Legislature. Full details and RSVP.
- Finally, know your rights and give yourself as much time as you can to cast your ballot..