Jan. 31 is the last day to register for the primary election. Early voting starts on Feb. 14 and ends on Feb 25. Feb. 18 is the last day for Texans to apply for a mail-in ballot for the March 1 primaries. The ballots need to be received by March 1, not just sent.
Additional identification fields added to the form for this year are causing issues. Many of these applications are being rejected because they are outdated or do not meet these new requirements.
If you plan on applying for a mail-in ballot, you must provide a driver’s license number or a state identification card number. If you do not possess either of these, you can use the last four digits of your social security number. This information must be consistent with your voter registration file.
Voting advocates and election officials recommend that you provide a driver’s license number or state ID number and the last four digits of your social security number.
“We really need voters to put both numbers, if they can, on the application. It only calls for one or the other, but it’s best practice to just put both,” said Collin County elections administrator Bruce Sherbet.
Officials also recommend sending these applications at least 60 days in advance.
If there is an issue with your ballot or application, County officials must try to contact you for a chance to fix them.
You can also track the status of your ballot and application online.
“The good news is we are going to reach out as quickly as possible to let the voter know if there is a deficiency or defect on the application, and give them information on how to correct it,” Sherbet said.
Collin County officials said they have rejected 10% of their applications.
Dallas County rejected almost 41% of applications as of last Friday.
Tarrant County rejected about 40% of applications through Jan. 13.
Denton County has also rejected 40% of applications.
To qualify for absentee voting in Texas you must either:
- Be 65 or older.
- Plan to be away from your county of residence during the election period.
- Have a sickness or disability.
- Be expected to give birth within three weeks before or after Election day.
- Be confined in jail without having been finally convicted of a felony.