With early voting for the November 2nd election set to begin on Monday, October 18, the Harris County Clerk’s office is preparing to mail postal ballots.
The ballots will go to military and overseas voters and then will be followed by ballots sent to senior citizens and the disabled. The clerk’s office sent out the announcement below:
Houston, TX, – The Harris County Clerk will mail approximately 15,000 postal ballots on Saturday, September 18th. Two-thirds of the first postal ballots mailed this election cycle will be to military and overseas voters. Federal law requires election officials to send absentee ballots at least 45 days before the election to any military or overseas voter who has submitted a request by that date.
“Voting by mail is a lifeline to the democratic process for Harris County registered voters who find themselves outside the County during the early voting period and on Election Day. It is also the most convenient way to vote for voters who are 65 years of age or older, ill, disabled or voters who are confined”, said Beverly Kaufman, the chief elections officer of the County. “I strongly encourage registered voters who qualify to vote by mail to take advantage of the option Texas law affords them.”
According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2009 population estimate, 8.1 percent of Harris County’s population is 65 years or older.
Table 1. Persons in Harris County who are 65 years or older
A postal ballot is not sent automatically to qualified registered voters. Except for military and overseas voters who requested a postal ballot in the previous major election, registered voters who qualify to vote by mail must submit a completed ballot-by-mail application or a written request every election cycle to receive a ballot. The last day the County Clerk can accept a ballot-by-mail request for the upcoming election is October 26th. Ballot-by-mail applications may be obtained by visiting www.harrisvotes.com.
Eligible registered voters may submit a completed ballot-by-mail application or written request by regular mail to Harris County Clerk’s Office, P.O. Box 1148, Houston, Texas 77251-1148. Requests sent by courier should be delivered to 1001 Preston, Ste. 440, Houston, TX 77002. If voter is outside the County, the request may be sent by fax to 713.755.4983. The written request must include:
The name of the voter and the address where the voter is registered to vote;
- The reason the voter is eligible to vote by mail (65 years of age, ill or have a disability, or plan to be outside Harris County);
- The address where the ballot should be sent (If voter is outside the county, voters must provide an address outside of Harris County);
- The voter’s signature
For more information on the voting by mail process, voters may call 713.755.6965.