The Denton County Elections Administration has provided the public with a wealth of details about polling procedures, voting options, and other useful tips for the upcoming general election.
In person voting:
In order to minimize your wait time at the polling place, we are suggesting that, if you are able, vote early. We are opening a record number of Early Voting locations and Governor Abbott has extended the Early Voting period from the typical 2 weeks, to a 3 week period (October 13-October 30). We will also have all sites open every single day of the Early Voting period, including weekends. Hopefully, this means that there will be ample time for everyone to vote early! Also, if you want to minimize potential contact with other voters, a pro tip would be to pick a less trafficked polling location and visit during non-peak times of the day. That would mean picking a more rural location and avoiding times of the day such as polls open, lunch, and right before polls close.
Application for Ballot by Mail Eligibility:
Frequently, our office fields questions regarding whom is eligible to apply for a ballot by mail. The Texas Election Code is very specific about the applicant’s eligibility to apply for a ballot by mail. To be eligible to vote early by mail in Texas, you must:
- be 65 years or older;
- be disabled;
- be out of the county on election day and during the period for early voting by personal appearance; or
- be confined in jail, but otherwise eligible.
Additionally, Attorney General Paxton issued a letter of guidance that specifies that an applicant would not be eligible for ballot by mail because of a “lack of immunity to COVID-19” and/or a “desire to engage in social distancing to avoid exposure to the virus” alone. If you meet another eligibility reason for applications for ballot by mail, that would be acceptable.
Mail ballot applications:
If you are planning on submitting an application for ballot by mail for the November 3rd General Election, please submit your application as soon as possible! By submitting your mail ballot early, you will increase the amount of time you have to complete the mail ballot and return it in a timely manner. The deadline for mail ballot applications is October 23, 2020 and the closer to the deadline that we receive your application; the shorter the window will be for them to be received by our office before the deadline to receive ballots. Please mail your application to: Early Voting Clerk, Denton County Elections Administration, P.O. Box 1720, Denton, TX 76202
Mail ballot hand-delivery:
On July 27, 2020, Governor Gregg Abbott issued a proclamation that, beyond extending the Early Voting period for the November 3rd General Election, suspended Section 86.006(a-1) of the Texas Election Code for the election. This means that hand delivery of mail ballots will be accepted in our office (address below) from the time you receive your mail ballot, up until 7pm on Election Day (November 3, 2020). A few things to keep in mind before hand delivering your ballot is that you are only allowed to deliver your own ballot. The Texas Election Code does not allow delivery of a mail ballot from another voter. Also, you will be asked to present one of the 7 forms of acceptable photo identification. If you do not possess one of the acceptable form of photo identification, you will be asked to present one of the supporting forms of identification and to complete a Reasonable Impediment Declaration. After presenting your identification, you will then be asked to sign a hand-delivery roster to complete the hand-delivery of your mail ballot.
You can find a list of the acceptable and supporting forms of identification here.
Denton County Elections Administration Building
701 Kimberly Drive, Suite A101
Denton, TX 76208
Mail ballot drop boxes:
Our office is aware that lately there are many news articles that mention mail ballot drop boxes. Texas Election Code does not allow for drop boxes for your mail ballots and because of this, Denton County will not be providing mail ballot drop boxes within the County. The only place that mail ballots will be accepted for hand delivery is in our office (address above). This also means that you cannot hand deliver your mail ballots to a polling location during Early Voting or on Election Day. If you decide that you want to vote in person after receiving a mail ballot, you are allowed to surrender your mail ballot in the polling place and vote in person.
United States Postal Service (USPS):
Again, our office is aware that there are many new articles circulating regarding changed procedures and funding at the USPS. We have always worked closely with the local USPS to make sure that all election related mail is promptly delivered. Our local USPS has stated that they will continue expediting all elections related mail and will be communicating regularly with our office to ensure that all election mail is delivered in a timely manner.