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Voting During COVID-19

Individual Rights

This article about voting was last updated on October 28, 2020.

Can I vote if I'm under a shelter-in-place order?

You can still vote if there is a shelter-in-place order in your Texas county. TexasLawHelp continues to monitor the situation. 

Check the League of Women Voters for updates on their Voting and Coronavirus page.

How can I keep myself safe when voting during the COVID-19 outbreak?

The League of Women Voters offers these tips:

  • Vote by mail if you are eligible.
  • Go to the polls during early voting.
  • Vote during non-peak hours.
  • When you update your voter registration, practice social distancing.

Check the latest best practices for voting during COVID-19 from the Centers for Disease Control.

There are also additional services for persons with disabilities.

The League of Women Voters has information on accomodations for voters with disabilties.

When is voting in 2020?

In 2020, early voting for the November 3 general election began on October 13, 2020. 

See When to Vote and Important Election Dates from the Texas Secretary of State. 

In Texas, a political subdivision may hold an election on:

  • the first Saturday in May in an odd-numbered year;
  • the first Saturday in May in an even-numbered year, for an election held by a political subdivision other than a county; or
  • the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November.

Poll hours: 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Election Day (see Texas Elections Code chapter 41.031) but hours during early voting may vary by county. 

 

Can I vote by mail because of COVID-19 concerns?

Maybe. In Texas, you can vote by mail if you are:

  • age 65 or older;
  • disabled;
  • out of the county on election day and during early voting; or
  • in jail but otherwise eligible.

See Application for a Ballot by Mail at the website of the Texas Secretary of State. 

If you are in the military or live overseas, see Military & Overseas Voters to learn what to do to obtain and cast your ballot.

Voting by mail is similiar to voting absentee

 

Can I wear a mask when I vote?

According to the office of the Texas Secretary of State, poll workers can ask you to remove your face covering if they need to confirm your identity at the polls. You do not have to completely remove it. See Health Protocols for Voters.

 
The issue of masks at polling places continues to be fought over in the courts. Check Texas news sources for the lastest.
 

Do not wear face coverings that promote a candidate, party, or measure that's on the ballot. 

Do I have to vote in person if I have COVID or develop a disability?

You might be able to vote by mail if you develop COVID or a disability after October 23, 2020, for a ballot by mail has passed. This process is complicated. Call 866-OUR-VOTE for help in this situation.

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