Learn everything you need to know to vote
If you have not been issued a Texas Driver’s License, Texas Personal Identification Number, Texas Election Identification Certificate Number or a Social Security Number, you must indicate so by checking the appropriate box on the ABBM or carrier envelope.
*For voters aged 18–69 years, photo ID can be expired for up to four years. For voters aged 70 and older, photo ID can be expired for any length of time if otherwise valid.
†The Texas Election ID Certificate is a free photo ID issued by DPS for voting purposes. The number on this ID is NOT your Voter Unique Identifier (VUID) on the voter registration card you receive in the mail. Your VUID is NOT required information on either your ABBM or mail ballot carrier envelope.
Voting by mail in Texas has been available to elderly voters and voters with physical disabilities for decades. Remember, however, that many of the legal safeguards designed to protect voters and their ballots are impossible to enforce in the privacy of the voter’s home. Here are a few tips that may prove helpful:
Voting by mail in Texas is limited to voters who are:
You can get a formal application for a ballot by mail (ABBM) from:
If you are voting early because of an expected absence, you may apply in person for a ballot by mail before the early “voting in person” period begins (usually the 17th day before the election). If you are voting by mail because you are disabled or are 65 years of age or older, you may use a single application to request ballots by mail for all county elections in the calendar year. To do so, simply mark “Annual Application” on your application for a ballot by mail when selecting the election for which you are applying.
If you are voting in a political party’s primary election, you MUST check which party’s primary you are voting in to receive the correct primary ballot.
To vote by mail, you must provide ONE of the following numbers on your ABBM:
If you have not been issued a Texas Driver’s License, Texas Personal Identification Number or Texas Election Identification Certificate Number or a Social Security Number, you must indicate so by checking the appropriate box on the ABBM.
If you are voting by mail because you are disabled or are 65 years of age or older, you may use a single application to request ballots by mail for all county elections in the calendar year. You will see this option under Section 4 of the ABBM, “Send me a Ballot for the Following Elections:” in which you can select each election for which you wish to receive a ballot by mail. While you can submit this “annual” application anytime during the calendar year, it must be received at least 11 days before the first election in which you seek to request a ballot by mail.
Your ballot by mail application must be sent to the Early Voting Clerk in the county where you are registered to vote. Applications must be received (not postmarked) by last day of the application period. All applications to vote by mail must be received by the early voting clerk before the close of regular business or 12 noon, whichever is later.
Applications to vote by mail must be submitted in person or by mail, common or contract carrier, email or fax. If you fax or e-mail your application to the Early Voting Clerk, you must also mail the application so that the Clerk receives it no later than the fourth business day after the day the Clerk received your faxed or emailed application. If you fax or e-mail your application by the deadline noted below, your application will be considered complete and timely as long as the original is received by the early voting clerk by the fourth business day after it was submitted by fax or e-mail.
Once you receive your mail-in ballot, carefully review each choice in each race or proposition to be voted on, and mark your choices in accordance with the instructions on the ballot envelope.
After your mark your ballot, place your voted ballot in the envelope marked "BALLOT ENVELOPE" and seal the ballot envelope.
Next, place the ballot envelope in the carrier envelope (PDF). BEFORE SEALING THE CARRIER ENVELOPE, YOU MUST INCLUDE IN THE SPACE PROVIDED (PDF):
Next, seal the carrier envelope, sign the carrier envelope, and return your carrier envelope to the Early Voting Clerk either by mail, by common or contract carrier, or in person on Election Day at your county’s early voting clerk’s office.
The Early Voting Clerk must receive your marked ballot by 7 p.m. on Election Day, by 5:00 p.m. the first business day after Election Day if the postmarked ballot was mailed within the United States from non-military voters and from any military voters who submitted an Application for Ballot by Mail (“ABBM”), or by the 5th day after Election Day if your ballot is submitted from outside the United States.
Once you’ve sent your ballot by mail to your county’s Early Voting Clerk, you can check the status of your mail-in ballot through our Ballot by Mail Tracker, available on the Texas Secretary of State’s ‘My Voter Portal.’
To track your mail-in ballot, you must enter the following information:
If you received a notice (PDF) that your ABBM was rejected because you did not provide an identification number or the number included on your ABBM did not match one of the numbers associated with your voter registration record, you may correct the defect online through the Texas Secretary of State's Ballot by Mail Tracker. When you log in to the Ballot by Mail Tracker, you will be prompted to enter your personal identification number(s). Once your personal identification number is validated by the Mail Ballot Tracker, the Application for a Ballot by Mail you previously submitted will be processed.
To utilize the Ballot by Mail Tracker, you must enter:
If you received a notice that your ABBM was rejected for another reason, you may be able to cure the defect by submitting a new ABBM (PDF) to your county's Early Voting Clerk with the corrected information.
To confirm your information as listed on your voter registration record be sure to visit the 'Am I Registered?' tool on the Texas Secretary of State's My Voter Portal.
If you have specific questions about your registration or the status of your Application for Ballot by Mail, you should contact your county elections office.
**NOTE: You can also use the process above to add or correct identification information on your mail ballot carrier envelope (PDF).
Early Voting Clerks in each county are responsible for receiving your Application for a Ballot by Mail (ABBM) as well as your voted mail-in ballot.
Find the addresses, phone numbers, and fax numbers for your county’s early voting clerk on the Texas Secretary of State’s web site.
NOTICE: If you are submitting your application for ballot by mail (ABBM) by fax or email, the original, hard copy of the application MUST be mailed and received by the early voting clerk no later than the 4th business day after it was originally submitted.
First and foremost, we would like to thank you, the military voters, for your service to our country. To all U.S. citizens overseas, thank you for your interest in your country’s elections while far away. (Federal voting law defines “overseas” as anywhere outside the United States. This includes Canada and Mexico.) Military and overseas voters are welcome to use the regular registration and early voting by mail process (also known as absentee voting) available to all voters away from their home county on Election Day. However, there are also special provisions for you.
Fill out and file your FPCA (Federal Postcard Application) as soon as possible but no later than the 11th day before Election Day.
Receive your ballot or use the FWAB (Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot).
C (Casting and Counting)
Cast your vote by returning your marked ballot by Election Day, or the 5th day after if voting from overseas.
TRACK THE PROGRESS OF YOUR FPCA AND BALLOT
Who can use the Federal Postcard Application (FPCA)?
*Federal law defines “overseas” as anywhere outside the United States. If you are not one of these voters, you need the regular early voting by mail procedures.
Here are two resources for obtaining an automated FPCA form:
NOTE: If an FPCA is faxed, then the applicant must submit the original application by mail to the early voting clerk so that the early voting clerk receives the original no later than the 4th business day after receiving the faxed FPCA.
Authorized method the voter requested on the FPCA:
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