Quick Guide: Voting by Mail

The safest and most secure method of voting is in person.

However, voting by mail is an option for those who need it.

Requirements for qualification:

You will be away from your county during the entire voting period. (Your ballot must be sent outside your county of residence.)
You have a disability. (You do not have to present proof of disability, but you can be prosecuted if you make a false statement on this form.)
You are 65 or older on Election Day.
You are confined in jail but have not been convicted of a felony.

Application Process:

The best practice is to request an official application from your County Elections Office or from the Texas Secretary of State. 
You may also use forms sent from candidates and other sources but use caution when submitting anything other than the official form. Ensure it contains the correct information.
You do NOT need to send in more than one application, even if you receive more than one in the mail. If you are unsure if your application was received, call your County Elections Office.
Your application must be mailed or hand-delivered to the Elections Office. It must be the original copy with a “wet” signature, meaning that the document must be signed directly. Electronic signatures and copies of signed documents are not allowed.
When you sign the application, you must take your time and sign it as if it is an important government document because that is the case. If the signature on your application does not match that of your carrier envelope (see below), the validity of your ballot and your vote may be called into question. When you vote in person, you present an ID. When you vote by mail, your signature is your ID.
To vote by mail in the November 2020 Election, your application must be received by your County Elections Office by Friday, October 23rd. 

Ballot Process:

You will receive an envelope containing your ballot, two envelopes, and several instruction forms. 
Vote your ballot in blue or black ink and place it inside the “ballot envelope.” That envelope then goes inside your “carrier envelope.” If you accidentally place your ballot directly into your carrier envelope, don’t worry, it will still be counted. 
You will then seal your carrier envelope and sign it. Sign it the same way you signed your application. Be sure to complete the section that asks for the last 4 digits of your SSN or DL number.
Make sure you are signing your own envelope and not that of your spouse or another member of the household. This can result in your vote not being counted.
Return your ballot as quickly as possible so you can call and ensure it was received and accepted.
You must return your ballot through the mail or deliver it in person to the County Elections Office. You will need to show an ID if you deliver it in person.
If you live in a large county, your carrier envelope may require two stamps due to the abnormal length of this November’s ballot.


As with voting in person, no one should assist you with your application or your ballot unless you request it. Be wary of strangers offering assistance. You have the right to a secret ballot.
You are eligible to receive assistance if you cannot prepare your own ballot because you are unable to write, see, or read the language in which the ballot is written.
If you do require assistance, that person must provide his or her name, address, and signature on the application and/or carrier envelope.
If you are unable to sign your application and/or carrier envelope, you may obtain a witness. As with an assistant, your witness must provide a name, address, and signature. A person can only be a witness for one person per election.
The requirements for assistants and witnesses do not technically apply to close relatives (children, grandchildren, parents) or members of the same household but are still recommended. 


If you requested a mail-in ballot but chose to vote in person, you have 3 options.
Bring your mail-in ballot to the polling location. The Presiding Judge will “spoil” that ballot, and you may vote in person immediately.
If you do not have your mail-in ballot, you must vote provisionally.
To save time, you can call your County Elections Office before you go to the polls and have your mail-in ballot canceled.

Tracking Your Ballot:

You can now track your mail-in ballot through the “My Voter Portal” on the TX Secretary of State website. ,,https://teamrv-mvp.sos.texas.gov/BallotTrackerApp/#/login
You must enter your first and last name, your date of birth, the last four digits of your social security number, and your driver’s license number.
You may not be able to track your ballot in a local election where the local entity has not contracted with the county to run the election. 

Curing a Rejected Ballot:

You can correct your ballot by mail if it was rejected due to:
Signature either missing or the validity of the signature was undetermined.
Missing or incorrect personal identification information.
Incomplete information about a witness.
If a Statement of Residence was not included when required.
Corrective Action Process:
If time allows, you may receive a corrective action form you can complete and return
You can appear in person at the early voting clerk’s office
You may cancel your ballot by mail and vote in person
In a few cases you can make corrections through the “My Voter Portal.”
Corrective action must be completed by the sixth day after election day.

*This document is just a guide. Advancing Integrity is not a legal firm and cannot give legal advice. Always refer to the Texas Election Code, Texas Secretary of State, and your County Elections Office.