Vote by Mail
COVID-19 Voting By Mail Update
On May 27, 2020, the Texas Supreme Court determined that the lack of immunity alone is not a “disability” for purposes of voting by mail. However, the court also stated that a voter can take into consideration aspects of their own health and health history when determining whether in-person voting will cause a likelihood of injury due to a physical condition.
Only specific reasons entitle a registered voter to vote early by mail (no longer called absentee voting).
You may vote early by mail if:
- You are 65 years of age or older on Election Day.
- You are sick or disabled (as defined in Texas Election Code 82.002(a)).
- You expect to give birth within three weeks before or after Election Day.
- You are out of your county on Election Day and during early voting hours.
- You are confined in jail or Involuntary Civil Commitment, but eligible to vote.
Voters who are absent from the county or confined in jail/civilly committed may only apply for one election and its resulting runoff.
Does the voting clerk automatically send me an Application to Vote by Mail?
No. Senate Bill 1 makes it illegal for County Elections Administrators to send mail ballot applications, including already eligible voters 65 and older. The voter must reach out and specifically request an application to vote by mail.
The application is available to download as a fillable form:
How do I apply for an Application for Ballot by Mail?
The application is available to download as a fillable form:
Alternatively, it can be downloaded, completed by hand, and mailed to:
Early Voting Clerk
1103 S. Frio, Suite 200
San Antonio, Texas 78207-6328
Please complete and return your application no later than 11 days prior to the election for which the ballot is being requested.
Any ABBM sent to the Elections Department is required to have an original hand signature to be kept on file.
Electronic signatures CAN NOT be accepted.
Additionally, the Federal Postcard Application (FPCA) is applicable for military and overseas voters. These voters will not use the ABBM forms. The FPCA can be found on FVAP.gov.
When can a qualified voter submit their Annual Ballot by Mail (ABBM) application?
Voters may begin to submit Annual Ballot by Mail (ABBM) on or after January 1 of the calendar year in which the voter wishes to receive ballots. [§ 86.0015]
How long is the Annual ABBM valid?
The Annual ABBM is valid from the time the early voting clerk receives it until the end of the calendar year or until the voter submits a change in registration information. Thus, the Annual ABBM expires on December 31 of the current year, regardless of when the voter submitted the application to the early voting clerk. [§ 86.0015(b)]
Is the Annual ABBM sufficient for all elections in which the voter is eligible to vote?
Yes. The voter will receive a ballot as long as they qualify for the proceeding election.
How will I receive my ballot?
Once a completed ABBM or FPCA is received and processed, a paper ballot will be sent through the U.S. Postal Service to the address on file.
How soon must I return my ballot
Any ballots returned must be postmarked no later than 7 p.m. on Election Day. If you are mailing your ballot from outside the United States, your ballot must be delivered to the Elections Department no later than five days after Election Day.
Why did I have to indicate party preference on my Application for a Ballot by Mail (ABBM)?
Because a voter cannot participate in both parties' primary elections, a voter MUST indicate, when voting by mail, their party preference to ensure they receive the correct ballot style.
Where do I select the party of my choice?
In Section 4 of the Application to Vote by Mail under the Primary Election section.
New Law Effective 2022
Senate Bill 1 sets new rules for voting by mail. Those who are eligible to vote by mail, will now need to provide:
- Their Driver's License Number (DL); and/or
- The last four (4) of their Social Security (SSN).
Voters must write their Driver's License Number and/or the last four (4) of their Social Security number in two places:
- On the Application to Vote by Mail (ABBM); and
- On the completed Ballot Envelope.
NOTE: The Driver's License or Social Security numbers provided on the ABBM will have to match the numbers on the envelope used to return the completed ballot.
If any information is missing or invalid, we will proactively reach out to you directly to address any inconsistencies if you included a phone number or email when registering to vote. If not, we will mail you a letter with follow up information.
Failed attempts to contact you regarding your missing or unmatched Driver's License or Social Security Number on the ABBM or Return Ballot Envelope may result in rejection of the application or ballot.
- Section 1 - Do include your Texas Driver's License and/or Social Security Number on the Application
- Section 3 - Do select a reason you are voting by mail.
- Section 4 - Selecting the box for Annual Application will automatically send you ballots for the elections you qualify for in the entire calendar year. Annual Application for Ballot by Mail expire on December 31 of the year. The voter must reach out and specifically request an Application for Ballot by Mail annually.
- Do select your party preference under the Primary Election section in order for us to send you the correct ballot.
- Do mail the Application for ballot by mail early enough to be received by the by the Early Voting Clerk at least 11 days before any election for which you want a ballot.
- Section 5 - Don't forget to sign the application.
- Secrecy Envelope - Do place your ballot in the white secrecy envelope.
- Required Information - Do include your Texas driver's license Number and/or Social Security numbers on your return ballot. The numbers on the Application and Ballot by Mail must match.
- Assisting a Voter - Do fill out the Section "If you are an assistant, provide information below" be sure to include your printed name, signature, address, and relationship.
- Witness - Do fill out the Section "Instructions to Witness" be sure to include your printed name, signature, address, and relationship.
- DO mail the ballot in time to be postmarked by 7:00 PM on Election Day and received by the Early Voting Clerk no later than 5:00 PM on the day after Election Day.
- Signature - You must seal the envelope first, and then sign over the flap. Your signature must show completely.
- Signature - Don't sign and then fold the flap over the signature.