Your Voting Safety

September 12, 2020

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Texans should not have to choose between their right to vote and their health in the middle of a pandemic, and all eligible voters should be able to safely cast their ballot. Learn more about our work to make voting more safe during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as ways that you can ensure that you are able to vote safely.

    How You Can Vote Safely During the Pandemic

    • Vote By Mail – To apply for a ballot by mail, download or submit an order for an application on the Texas Secretary of State website and submit it to your local county voting clerk. The clerk must receive your application by Oct. 23. For more information on voting by mail, check our Voting Process page.
    • Voting Early – Voting early allows you to cast your ballot at a time when there are likely to be smaller crowds and you can more easily distance yourself from others at the polling location. Early voting starts on Monday, Oct. 13. To find early voting locations, look up your county elections office website.
    • Follow COVID-19 hygienic procedures for in-person voting – Your voting location should have signs and guidance to help you and other voters maintain a six-foot distance, including while waiting in line to vote. Wear a mask to your polling location and leave it on throughout the entire voting process. Thoroughly wash your hands before and after voting, and avoid touching your face with unwashed hands.

    Our Work

    • On March 19, a week after the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic, the ACLU of Texas sent a letter to the Governor, Secretary of State, and elections officials in the state’s seven largest counties calling for protections to ensure that Texans would be as safe as possible during the upcoming runoff elections.
    • On April 2, the ACLU of Texas filed to join a lawsuit seeking to declare that under Texas law all registered voters qualify to request a mail-in ballot as a result of the COVID-19 public health crisis.
    • On June 17, the ACLU of Texas sent another letter, joined by 14 other organizations, to Gov. Abbott, Secretary of State Hughs, and all 254 county clerks, asking that state and local elections officials take urgent steps to ensure safety and accessibility in the July and November elections. The letter asks for state and local government officials to develop a response plan to the pandemic that expands voter registration and extends early voting to allow for the largest possible participation.
    • On Aug. 5, the ACLU of Texas sent another demand letter to state and local elections officials, demanding further action to protect the health and safety of Texas voters while also ensuring the largest possible participation in the November election.