The November 3 election will affect the lives of Texans on many levels and could have far reaching implications for real estate. Find out where to get a list of Texas REALTORS®-supported candidates, dates to know, what’s on the ballot, and more.
Texas REALTORS® 2020 Election Preview
The September/October 2020 issue of Texas REALTOR® magazine includes an election guide intended to help members prepare to vote in this important election. Click here to read the digital edition.
See the REALTOR®-Supported Candidates on Your Ballot
Visit texasrealtorssupport.com to see which candidates on your ballot have received REALTOR® support for their positions on real estate issues. Texas REALTORS® can log to view the full list of REALTOR®-supported statewide, legislative, and congressional candidates.
Get Out The Vote FAQ
These frequently asked questions can help you prepare to cast your ballot.
When is early voting?
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott extended early voting to be available October 13-30. Check your county’s elections website for a list of early voting polling locations.
How can I vote by mail?
Although it has drawn more attention this year, voting by mail has been available in Texas for decades. If you are voting by mail, it is important to follow the guidelines carefully.
The first step is to determine if you are eligible to vote by mail, as it is not available to everyone.
According to state election law, you may vote by mail if …
- you are 65 or older,
- you are sick or disabled,
- you will be out of the county where you are registered to vote on election day and throughout the entire early voting period, or
- you are in jail but still eligible to vote.
Next, you must submit an Application for Ballot by Mail to your county elections office in one of these ways:
- You can print an application,
- you can request an application from the secretary of state’s office, or
- you can contact your county elections office.
Applications must be received by the close of business on October 23, which is 11 days before the election. However, the U.S. Postal Service recommends allowing at least 15 days in order to receive your ballot in time to complete it and mail it back. Applications can also be submitted by fax or email, but the county must receive a hard copy within four business days.
It is OK to ask someone you trust to help you complete and mail your form. That person must sign the application and write their name and address next to your signature.
Generally, a ballot must be mailed to the address where you are registered to vote. However, if you are 65 or older or have a physical disability, you may have your ballot sent to a hospital, nursing home, or long-term care facility, retirement center, or relative, but you must check the blank on the form indicating which address you are providing.
If your reason for voting by mail is absence from the county, the ballot must be mailed to an address outside the county.
Once you receive your ballot, it is important to carefully follow the instructions to complete and submit it to avoid having election officials reject your ballot. Be sure to sign your ballot envelope. Ballot review boards will match the signature on the ballot envelope to your signature on your voter application. If your reason for voting by mail is because you will be out of the county, your ballot must be mailed from outside the county.
If you need help completing your ballot, it is fine to ask a trusted friend or relative to assist. You must put your helper’s name and address on the carrier envelope used to return your ballot to the early voting clerk. Your helper must also sign the carrier envelope.
Your county election office must receive your ballot by Election Day. If they are postmarked by 7 p.m. on Election Day, they will be counted only if they are received by 5 p.m. the next day.
You also have the option of dropping off your completed ballot at the county election office. That is typically only allowed on Election Day, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, that has been expanded this year to allow voters to submit their ballots in person as soon as they are completed. You will need to show a photo ID to submit your ballot.
Completed ballots from military or overseas voters are accepted if they are received by November 9. Those voters go through a different ballot request and return process.
You can call your local elections office to see if they have received your ballot.
What if I apply to vote by mail but never receive my ballot?
You can still go to the polling place and vote in person. You will need to tell the election judges that you applied for a mail-in ballot, and they should allow you to cast a provisional ballot. Your ballot will be counted once the county determines that it did not receive your mail-in ballot.
Even if you did receive your mail-in ballot, you can change your mind and vote in person as long as you have not returned the mail-in ballot. Just bring your mail-in ballot and surrender it to the election judges, and you should be allowed to cast your ballot.
Who can I contact with questions?
If you have any questions about any aspect of voting you can contact your local election office or the Texas Secretary of State’s office. The Secretary of State’s legal staff is available toll-free at (800) 252-8683 to answer questions and advise you on your rights as a voter.