Forth Worth, Dallas, Denton & Plano Resource Centers on Independent Living

Early Voting Vital Information from the Coalition of Texans with Disabilities

Coalition of Texans with DisabilitiesMessenger e-Newsletter
October 14, 2020

Early voting for the 2020 General Election kicked off this week, and we have quite a few things to say about that (see our main article below). But that’s not all we’ve been up to: our staff continues our interim advocacy work and preparations for the 2021 legislative session, plus, we’re gearing up for our 17th annual Cinema Touching Disability Film Festival!

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..
Raise Your Voice! 2020 Advocate Connection Program. Image of six people, standing and sitting, on the Tx Capitol steps.
Join CTD for our next wave of Raise Your Voice! sessions in the coming weeks! Wednesdays at 2 pm CST, we’ll continue our series of 1-hour long sessions, focusing on our (and your) priority issues.

Thank you to our 2020 Raise Your Voice! Sponsors


Amerigroup, an Anthem Company

CDS in Texas

PhRMA Research Progress Hope

DentaQuest Partnership for oral health advancement

Bristol Myers Squibb

Care Source

MCNA Dental
Molina Healthcare
Shield HealthCare
Coming up at CTD
REV UP! Register! Educate! Vote! Use your Power!
Plan Your Vote! live Q&A with REV UP Texas

Join REV UP Texas’ Plan Your Vote! live Q&A this Thursday, Oct. 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.


Blue handiman icon with green video camera to its eye leans forward in wheelchair, shaped like a C.
Cinema Touching Disability is ON for 2020!

The 17th annual Cinema Touching Disability Film Festival is this week, Oct. 16 – 18! Check out our program and grab your spots—registration is free, but required to attend any or all three nights. Can’t make it? Your registration includes access to all films through Oct. 25!


Bronze lion statue wears a red pirate head scarf and eye patch.
Join the Lion & Pirate for a virtual Open Mic!

CTD’s Pen 2 Paper creative writing contest, Art Spark Texas, and Malvern Books are pleased to continue our monthly gathering online. For our Nov. 7 open mic, we’re featuring CTD Mental Health Peer Policy Fellow (and story-teller), Jennifer Toon!

RSVP for NOV 7

RSVP for DEC 6

Thank you to our 2020 Cinema Touching Disability sponsors!

Superior Healthplan
Cultural Arts, City of Austin Economic Development
Hart Intercivic
CDS in Texas
Rock House
Touch of CLASS
Travis Medical

American Construction Investigations

The Harry S. & Isabel C. Cameron Foundation

Crystal Fortune Lyons, LLC

Dennis Borel & Lynda Frost

Michael Portman

Upstream Technology

Billy Millwee & Associates



Flora Brewer

Greenwich Biosciences

HillCo Partners

Mike Shea & Toni Wilcox

Snapper Carr

Texas Association for Interior Design

Arnold Public Affairs * Care Source * DentaQuest Partnership * Girling HealthCare

JWH Communications  * Gregg Knaupe * MCNA Dental * Molina Healthcare * Shield HealthCare

Tom Suehs * D&S Community Services * Joel Eisen * Texas Film Commission

Mark Vane * John Weizenbaum * Paramount Theater

This project is supported in part by the Cultural Arts Division of the City of Austin Economic Development Department.



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