Texas absentee and mail ballot guide
Texas absentee ballot overview
Absentee ballots and mail ballots are the same thing, and the process for getting one is straight forward.
- Request your ballot by the deadline
- Receive your in ballot in the mail
- Return your ballot by the deadline
Texas absentee deadlines
- Earliest day to apply: January 1
- Request deadline (online): N/A
- Request deadline (by mail): Received by 11 days before Election Day
- Request deadline (in person): 11 days before Election Day
- Deadline to return your ballot (by mail): Received by Election Day
- Deadline to return your ballot (in person): Received by Election Day
Texas absentee ballot rules
You can vote using an absentee ballot in Texas if:
- you are 65 years or older
- you are disabled
- you will be out of the county on Election Day and during the early voting period
- you are in jail but not yet convicted of a crime
Texas online ballot request
Texas does not allow you to request your ballot online.
Texas by-mail ballot request
- Download the Texas absentee ballot application.
- Fill out all of the required fields.
- Print the application.
- Sign and date your application. This is very important.
- Mail or hand-deliver your completed application directly to your local election office as soon as possible, but no later than the deadline.
- If it’s close to the deadline, call your local election office and see if they will let you submit your application via email or fax.
- Your application must be received by 11 days before Election Day.
Texas in-person ballot request
- Visit your local election office.
- Ask the clerk to give you an absentee ballot application.
- Fill out all of the required fields.
- Sign and date your application.
- The deadline to apply in person is 11 days before Election Day.
After you receive your ballot
- Carefully read and follow the instructions, and fill out all required fields.
- Sign and date the outside envelope.
- Mail or hand-deliver your ballot to your local election office. You can also hand-deliver your ballot to a drop box if one is available nearby. You can use our Find Out Where To Vote tool to find an official drop box.
- If you mail your ballot, it must be received by Election Day.
- If you hand-deliver your ballot, it must be received by Election Day.
- If you miss the deadline – or forget to sign the outside envelope – your vote will not be counted.
Texas absentee ballot ID requirements
- ID required when requesting a mail-in ballot:
You must include your TX driver's license number, or state ID number, or the last four digits of your Social Security Number on your absentee ballot application. Additionally, the signature on your absentee ballot application will be compared to the signature on your voter registration card to ensure they match.
- ID required when returning a mail-in ballot:
- If you return your voted ballot by mail, your local election official will compare your signature on the outside envelope to the one on your voter registration form to make sure they match.
- If you return your ballot in person, you will need to show a government issued photo ID card. You cannot show a student ID card, even if the ID was issued by the University of Texas.
Texas absentee ballot tracker
Track your ballot here: Texas absentee ballot tracker
Texas absentee ballot curing
Ballot curing is the process of resolving any problems with your absentee or mail ballot to ensure that your vote is counted. After tracking your ballot, contact your local election office to fix any issues that have been noted.
- Your mail ballot will be rejected if you forget to sign it or if the ID number provided on your ballot carrier envelope does not match the one that you provided on your registration application.
- Your ballot will also be rejected if the signature on the outside envelope does not match the signature on your voter registration form.
- You have until the 6th day after Election Day to correct issues with your ballot in person at the clerk's office.
Texas emergency ballots
Some states have special procedures that allow you to obtain an emergency ballot if a medical or other emergency occurs after the standard absentee ballot application window.
Emergency Ballot Rules
You can apply for an emergency absentee ballot under the following two conditions:
- Illness or disability If you become sck or disabled within 11 days of an election, and this will prevent you from voting in person on Election Day. Your request must be accompanied by a statement from your medical practioner.
- Death of a relative. If a family member dies witin 4 days of the election, you can request an emergency ballot. You will have to include a statement with the date of death and your relationship to the deceased person.
Dates & Deadlines
- Emergency ballot request ends for illness or disability, 5PM Election Day, for a relative's death, close of business 1 day before Election Day
- Emergency ballot return deadline is Election Day
Contact your local election office
Local election office
Contact your local election office if you have questions.
Statewide election office
This is the statewide agency that is ultimately responsible for Texas elections. You can contact them with questions, but your local election office will probably respond faster.
Office of the Secretary of State Elections Division P.O. Box 12060 Austin, TX 78711‐2060