Election News

Governor messes with Texas' absentee ballots for presidential election

Governor messes with Texas' absentee ballots for presidential election

Vote voting ballot election
The governor of Texas has made it much harder to cast an absentee ballot. Photo courtesy of The Heritage Society Museum

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has closed down locations across the state where absentee ballots could be accepted, making it harder for residents to vote early. On October 1, the governor ordered counties to stop accepting hand-delivered absentee ballots at more than one location per county.

Among the most profoundly affected: Highly populated counties like Harris County, which includes Houston and has more than 4.7 million residents. Harris County previously had 11 locations where you could drop off ballots. Now there will be one, requiring some residents to drive more than an hour. 

Likewise, Dallas County had five drop-off locations prior to the order. Now it has just one, for a county with a population of more than 2.5 million people. In Travis County, which had three before Abbott's decision, the county's now only has one location for its 1.2 million residents.

The new order will not affect Bexar County, which only had one drop-off location before Abbott's announcement.

The order will, however, make it difficult in rural counties like Brewster, the largest county in Texas, which covers 6,192 square miles, requiring ridiculously lengthy drives to deliver ballots.

In San Antonio, voters can bring their completed ballots along with their state approved identification to the Bexar County Elections Department at 1103 S. Frio St., Suite 200. Please submit your ballot at least 11 days before Election Day on Tuesday, November 3. For questions, call 210-335-0362.

On July 27, Abbott added six days of early absentee voting, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic — an order that Texas Republicans are challenging in court.