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The process of voting by mail, or absentee voting, in Texas changed last year.
If you haven’t voted by mail under the new rules, here’s what you need to know.
The biggest changes include a new application and the requirement to write either your state ID number or the last four digits of your social security number on your return envelope.
The last day to submit an application for a ballot by mail is April 25.
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Here are the main things you need to know about the mail-in voting process.
- This is the NEW. The old applications (prior to 2022) will not be accepted.
- An application must be submitted in writing and signed in ink — electronic signatures, photocopied signatures or signatures in pencil are NOT allowed.
- Election officials may not distribute mail-in ballots or an application for a mail-in ballot to anyone who did not submit a request for an application.
- Early voting applications and ballots must include the applicant’s driver’s license number or Department of Public Safety-issued personal identification number (PIN). Voters must use the same number on the ballot and the application and the number must match what you have listed on your voter registration record. An applicant without a driver’s license or DPS PIN must declare that and include the last four digits of their social security number. If a voter uses a different number on the application and ballot, the ballot will be rejected. The League of Women Voters of the San Antonio recommends using both your driver’s license/state ID number and the last four digits of your Social Security number to avoid issues.
Bexar County voters who are interested in voting by mail must submit this application to the Bexar County Elections Department.
The applications must be received — not postmarked — no later than 11 days before Election Day, or April 25.
If you have questions about the application process, call the Bexar County Elections Office at 210-335-0362.
Keep reading for what you need to know about mail-in voting.
Who can vote by mail?
U.S. Armed Forces and Merchant Marines, their dependents and U.S. citizens who live abroad can vote early by mail. For more information, visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program website.
Mail/absentee ballot voting is also available to elderly voters and voters with physical disabilities.
You may be eligible to vote by mail if you are:
- 65 years of age or older on Election Day
- Sick or disabled
- Going to be away from your county on Election Day and during early voting
- Out-of-state college students who still claim a Texas address as their primary residence
- Confined in jail, but eligible to vote
You must apply to vote by mail each year in Texas.
How do I vote by mail?
When county elections officers determine you are eligible to vote by mail based on your application, they will send you a blank absentee ballot electronically or by mail.
After filling out the ballot and signing across the sealed flap of the envelope (the signature must match your signature on the ballot and application), Bexar County voters must mail their absentee ballots to this address:
Bexar County Elections (Early Voting Clerk)
1103 S. Frio St., Suite 200
San Antonio, TX 78207-6328
Click here to find out where to submit your application for ballot by mail in other Texas counties.
Absentee/mail-in ballots must be received by 7 p.m. on Election Day. Ballots from overseas voters must be received by the 5th day after Election Day. Ballots from members of the armed forces must be received by the 6th day after Election Day. Members of the military and other overseas voters can track the status of their ballot online.
Hand-delivery of mail ballots is only allowed on Election Day. In Bexar County, those hand-delivered ballots must go to the elections office at 1103 S. Frio St., Suite 200. They will not be accepted at polling places and voters will need to present a valid ID.
The ballots must contain a signature across the sealed flap and voters will be asked to sign a roster when they turn their ballots in.