Your resource for everything about Vote By Mail!

Dates, Forms, News It’s all here for you.

Last updated 6/4/20

  • Want to vote by mail?
  • What's all this about lawsuits and Vote by Mail in Texas?

All Vote By Mail Applications must be RECEIVED by the Early Voting Clerk on or before Thursday, July 2, 2020.  SEND IT IN NOW

There are four categories

    • be 65 years or older; Sec. 82.003.   AGE.  A qualified voter is eligible for early voting by mail if the voter is 65 years of age or older on election day.
    • be disabled; Sec. 82.002.  DISABILITY.
      • (a)  A qualified voter is eligible for early voting by mail if the voter has a sickness or physical condition that prevents the voter from appearing at the polling place on election day without a likelihood of needing personal assistance or of injuring the voter’s health.
    • be out of the county on election day and during the period for early voting by personal appearance; or Sec. 82.001.  ABSENCE FROM COUNTY OF RESIDENCE.
      • (a)  Subject to Subsection (b), a qualified voter is eligible for early voting by mail if the voter expects to be absent from the county of the voter’s residence on election day and during the regular hours for conducting early voting at the main early voting polling place for that part of the period for early voting by personal appearance remaining after the voter’s early voting ballot application is submitted to the early voting clerk.
      • (b)  If a voter’s early voting ballot application is submitted on or after the first day of the period for early voting by personal appearance, the voter is ineligible for early voting by mail unless the voter is absent from the county when the application is submitted and satisfies the requirements prescribed by Subsection (a).
    • be confined in jail, but otherwise eligible. Sec. 82.004.  CONFINEMENT IN JAIL.
      • (a)  A qualified voter is eligible for early voting by mail if, at the time the voter’s early voting ballot application is submitted, the voter is confined in jail:
        • (1)  serving a misdemeanor sentence for a term that ends on or after election day;
        • (2)  pending trial after denial of bail;
        • (3)  without bail pending an appeal of a felony conviction;  or
        • (4)  pending trial or appeal on a bailable offense for which release on bail before election day is unlikely.
      • (b)  A voter confined in jail who is eligible for early voting is not entitled to vote by personal appearance unless the authority in charge of the jail, in the authority’s discretion, permits the voter to do so.


There is one more eligibility: Chapter 82 – Eligibility For Early Voting  Section82.002 (b)  Expected or likely confinement for childbirth on election day is sufficient cause to entitle a voter to vote under Subsection (a).

  1. Print (PDF) the ABBM form
  2. OR submit an order online and an ABBM will be mailed to you.
  3. Complete Sections 1 through 8.
  4. Sign and Date Section 10.
  5. If you were unable to sign the application and someone witnessed your signature, that person must complete Section 11.
  6. If someone helped you complete the application or mailed the application for you, that person must complete Section 11.
  7. Affix postage.
    • If you printed the application you must place it in your own envelope and add postage.
    • If you ordered the application online and it was mailed to you – fold the application in half, moisten top tab, seal and add postage.
  8. Address and mail the completed ABBM to the Early Voting Clerk in your county. You may also fax the application if a fax machine is available in the early voting clerk’s office.  You also have the option of submitting a scanned copy of the completed and signed application to the Early Voting Clerk via email. If an ABBM is faxed or emailed, then the original, hard copy of the application MUST be mailed and received by the early voting clerk no later than the 4th business day.
    • The Early Voting Clerk is the County Clerk or Elections Administrator for your county
    • Contact information, including fax numbers if available, and email addresses for the Early Voting Clerks are available on this website.

NOTICE: DO NOT MAIL, FAX, OR EMAIL COMPLETED APPLICATIONS FOR BALLOT BY MAIL TO THE SECRETARY OF STATE’S OFFICE. ALL APPLICATIONS RECEIVED BY THIS OFFICE WILL BE REJECTED.

Early Voting Clerk

PO Box 961011

Fort Worth, TX 76161-0011

Yes there is, please look at Section 6A and make sure you check the following boxes so that you can vote in the Democratic Primary RunOff and also receive a Vote By Mail Ballot for the November election:

  • Annual Application
  • Democratic Primary
  • Any Resulting Runoff

There are two separate legal actions to expand vote by mail in Texas.

This is the legal action that is in the Texas legal system.

The Texas Democratic Party negotiated with the State of Texas on an expansion of who could Vote By Mail to hinder the spread of Covid-19. On March 20th, 2020 the Texas Democratic Party along with two Texas voters asked a judge to declare that a portion of the Texas election code allowing voters to cast a mail-in ballot to be expanded to allow any voter in Texas to cast a mail in ballot ‘if they believe they should practice social distancing in order to hinder’ the spread of Covid-19. 

On April 15th, 2020, Judge Tim Sulak held a hearing utilizing video conferencing. The Judge told the attorneys he would issue a temporary injunction allowing all voters who risk exposure to the coronaviurs if they vote in person to ask for a mail-in ballot under a portion of the Texas election code allowing absentee ballots for voters who cite a disability. 

Also, on April 15th, 2020 Ken Paxton, Attorney General of Texas released a letter of guidance that his office had sent to Texas House of Representatives member Stephanie Klick on April 14th, 2020. The letter stated that an individual’s fear of contracting the virus was not enough to meet the definition of disability to qualify for a mail in ballot and that those who advise voters to apply for a mail in ballot based on that fear could be criminally prosecuted.

On April 17th, 2020 Judge Tim Sulak issued the temporary injunction.

Ken Paxton, Attorney General of Texas asked the Texas Supreme Court to weigh in on the temporary injunction on May 13th, 2020. This was an attempt to bypass the 14th Court of Appeals of Texas. 

A panel of the 14th Court of Appeals of Texas on May 14th, 2020 upheld a temporary order from Judge Tim Sulak that expanded the number of voters who qualify for mail-in ballots during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

On May 15th, 2020 the Texas Supreme Court temporarily put on hold an expansion of voting by mail during the coronavirus pandemic. 

On May 20th, 2020 the Texas Supreme Court considered Ken Paxton’s request for an order to limit the ability of election officials in the state’s largest counties to send mail in ballot applications to all voters regardless of their qualification for such an application.

On May 27th, 2020 the Texas Supreme Court issued an order ruling that a lack of immunity to Covid-19 does not qualify a voter to apply for a mail in ballot. The court stated that an individual voter can assess their health and determine whether they meet the definition of disability. The court did reject the request from Paxton to prevent local election officials from sending mail-in ballots to voters who cited their lack of immunity to Covid-19 as a disability. The Texas Supreme Court is the court of last resort for civil cases in Texas. 

Please check back for updates.

The legal action that is taking place in the Federal Court System

There are multiple cases in the Federal court system concerning the ability of voters to vote by mail if they wish.

The Texas Democratic Party along with some voters filed a lawsuit claiming the current election conditions violate the Voting Rights Act of 1965 as well as the 14th, 15th and 16th amendments on April 7th, 2020. This lawsuit is about allowing people under 65 being allowed to vote by mail.  

On May 11th, 2020 LULAC joined the lawsuit.

On May 19th, 2020 Judge Fred Biery granted a preliminary injunction that allows all registered voters to apply to vote by mail during the coronavirus pandemic. Judge Fred Biery found that the state’s existing election rules violate the Equal Protection Clause. The judge agreed that voters would face irreparable harm if existing age eligibility rules for voting by mail remain in place for elections held while the coronavirus is circulating. Ken Paxton, Texas Attorney General said he would seek an immediate review by the U.S. 5th Court of Appeals. 

On May 20, 2020 a three-judge panel of the US 5th Circuit Court of Appeals blocked a preliminary injunction issued by Judge Fred Biery on May 19th, 2020. This hold is an administrative stay, which means that Judge Biery’s ruling is only on hold while the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals considers if it will issue an injunction invalidating the entire appeals process.

Please check back for updates.

Even More Information!

State | Federal

5/20/2020 – 5th Circuit Court of Appeals blocked preliminary injunction & oral hearing at Texas Supreme Court

https://www.texastribune.org/2020/05/20/federal-appeals-court-temporarily-blocks-voting-mail-expansion-texas/

5/19/2020 – Federal judge allows expansion of VBM

https://www.texastribune.org/2020/05/19/federal-judge-says-texas-voters-can-vote-mail-during-coronavirus/

5/15/2020 – Federal hearing US District of Western Texas Judge Fred Biery

https://www.txwd.uscourts.gov/events/category/announcements/

5/15/2020 – Texas Supreme Court Blocks VBM Case

https://www.texastribune.org/2020/05/15/texas-voting-by-mail-coronavirus-blocked-supreme-court/

5/14/2020 – Appeal Court allows expansion of VBM

https://www.texastribune.org/2020/05/14/texas-appeals-court-allows-expansion-voting-mail/

5/12/2020 – LULAC joined TDP lawsuit

https://www.texastribune.org/2020/05/12/mail-in-ballot-voting-lulac-lawsuit/

5/11/2020 – Lawsuit adding LULAC

https://lulac.org/covid19/Covid19_LULAC_vs_Gov_Gregg_Abbott-05112020.pdf

5/11/2020 – Coalition of voters and civil right groups filed a federal lawsuit about rules surrounding vote by mail ballots.

https://www.texastribune.org/2020/05/11/texas-mail-voting-rules-coronavirus-lawsuit/

4/29/2020 – Voters and National Redistricting Foundation file a federal lawsuit about rules concerning age restriction on VBM

https://www.texastribune.org/2020/04/29/texas-voters-sue-over-age-restrictions-mail-ballots/

4/15/2020 – Judge issues temporary injunction expanding who can qualify for VBM

https://www.texastribune.org/2020/04/15/texas-judge-will-issue-order-could-greatly-expand-mail-voting/

4/15/2020 – Order signed by Judge

https://static.texastribune.org/media/files/d64f4a7d21b10c5fcf6246357168f9e5/Order%20on%20Application%20for%20Temporary%20Injunctions%20and%20Plea%20to%20the%20Jurisdiction.pdf?_ga=2.38324515.104335006.1589843259-1752955359.1589843259

4/8/2020 – TDP Lawsuit

https://www.courthousenews.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/texas-dem-complaint.pdf

3/20/2020 – Texas Democrats sue to expand VBM

https://www.texastribune.org/2020/03/20/citing-coronavirus-threat-texas-democrats-sue-expand-mail-voting/

3/20/2020 – Texas Democratic Party lawsuit

https://www.texasdemocrats.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/2020-03-20-TDP-et-al-POP-App-for-Temp-Injunction-Perm-Injunction-FINAL-1.pdf

8/7/2019 – Federal lawsuit about ballot signatures

https://www.texastribune.org/2019/08/07/two-texas-voters-sue-state-after-their-mail-ballots-were-rejected/

Lawsuit filed on 4/29/2020 by JESSIE GLORIA, LUIS BOTELLO-FAZ, NICOLAS MACRI, PAT GRANT, JENNIFER RAMOS, and ISAIAH RODRIGUEZ, It is COMPLAINT FOR INJUNCTIVE AND DECLARATORY RELIEF Related to Texas Democratic Party et al. v. Abbott et al., No. 5:20-cv-00438-FB.

This is the explanation from the Democracy Docket website: On behalf of a group of Texas young voters and the National Redistricting Foundation, we sued Texas over its age restrictions for voting by mail. In Texas, any voter 65 years old or older is eligible to request and cast their ballot by mail. However, voters under 65 are broadly and categorically prohibited from doing the same only because of their age. We challenged this law under the 26th amendment and argue that the state may not constitutionally choose to restrict access to vote by mail based solely on a voter’s age.


The Four Pillars Lawsuit was filed on 5/11/2020 by LINDA JANN LEWIS, MADISON LEE, ELLEN SWEETS, BENNY ALEXANDER, GEORGE MORGAN, VOTO LATINO, TEXAS STATE CONFERENCE OF THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF COLORED PEOPLE, and TEXAS ALLIANCE FOR RETIRED AMERICANS, Plaintiffs. It is Related to Gloria et al. v. Hughs et al., No. 5:20-cv-00527 which is the above lawsuit. This is the explanation from the Democracy Docket website: We sued to protect Texans who will seek to vote by mail in November’s general election. On behalf of Voto Latino, the Texas State Conference of the NAACP, the Texas Alliance for Retired Americans and individual voters, we challenged all Four Pillars in Texas that, in light of the coronavirus pandemic, will severely burden Texans’ right to vote. Our lawsuit asks Texas to provide prepaid postage for absentee ballots, accept all ballots postmarked on or before Election Day, prohibit enforcement of signature matching, allow voters the opportunity to correct a signature mismatch, and allow voters to designate any third party to collect their voted and sealed absentee ballot.


https://www.law360.com/articles/1261632  5:20-cv-00438 US District Court for the Western District of Texas filed 4/7/20