There has been a lot of discussion over the last couple of months about voting by mail, but there is another option that you may not be aware of that may be useful during the pandemic. It’s called curbside voting, and it is available to voters who are physically unable to enter the polling place without personal assistance or likelihood of injuring the voter’s health.
On the voter’s request, an election officer shall deliver a ballot to the voter at the polling place entrance or curb.
“If a voter feels like they are symptomatic or may have been exposed to a person with COVID-19, we encourage them to utilize curbside voting,” the state’s director of elections, Keith Ingram, told KXAN. “Curbside voting allows a person to vote from their car, and it’s available at all polling locations in the state of Texas for every election.”
Some counties, like Harris County, have gone a step further and placed a special curbside buzzer near the entrance of the poll so a curbside voter may ring the buzzer from their car. A sign will identify the curbside voting location.
Not all counties have the buzzer option, so it’s best to call ahead to let your local election officials know you are coming, especially if you are by yourself and unable to get word to the poll workers inside.
The voter safety checklist from the Texas Secretary of State includes maintaining at least 6 feet of separation from other individuals at the polling location, masks and self-screening for symptoms of COVID-19. Voters who do have symptoms are asked to use curbside voting.
County election officials have taken steps to ensure poll workers and voters are safe during the process.
Texans will go to the polls Tuesday to decide Republican and Democratic primary runoffs across the state. The last day to vote early is Friday.
More information about curbside voting is available here.