Texas voters will soon head to the polls — from Tuesday, Oct. 13 to Friday, Oct. 30 for early voting and on Election Day, Nov. 3 — for the 2020 general election. Here’s an overview of everything Travis County residents need to know about casting a ballot in the election.
Polling locations will have guidelines in place for social distancing and regular cleaning. Poll workers will be wearing face masks and other protective equipment.
Citizens who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or are exhibiting symptoms, consider requesting an emergency mail-in ballot or using curbside voting.
Emergency mail-in ballot
Emergency mail-in ballots can be requested in person on or after the third day before the election and until 5 p.m. on Election Day. To qualify, you must have a certified doctor’s note. Your ballot must be returned by 7 p.m. on Election Day to be counted. Contact the Travis County elections office at (512) 238-8683 for more details about an emergency mail-in ballot due to sickness or disability.
If you are physically unable to enter the polling place, you may ask that an election officer bring a voting unit to you at the entrance of the polling place or to a car at curbside. You can vote curbside during early voting or on Election Day.
Voters who are planning to vote curbside are encouraged to contact Travis County upon their arrival at the polling location. Call (512) 238-VOTE (8683) or (512) 854-4996.
What precautions should voters take?
The Texas secretary of state’s office has provided a checklist of health protocols for voters, including:
- Maintain six feet of separation from others, especially from individuals age 65 and older.
- Self-screen for any new or worsening signs or possible symptoms of COVID-19.
- Utilize curbside voting if you’re exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms and are eligible.
- Bring your own pen, pencil with eraser or stylus and hand sanitizer.
- Wash or disinfect hands upon entering and leaving a polling station, as well as after any interaction with people or voting equipment.
- Consider wearing a cloth face covering or face mask if available.
- If you contract COVID-19 or another sickness that prevents you from appearing at the polling place after the deadline to submit an application for a ballot by mail, contact your county election officer at (512) 238-8683 . You may be able to submit an “Application for Emergency Early Voting Ballot Due to Sickness or Physical Disability.”
Important election 2020 dates
- Oct. 13: Early voting begins
- Oct. 23: Last day to request a mail-in ballot (received, not postmarked)
- Oct. 30: Last day of early voting
- Nov. 3: Election Day
Travis County will have 37 early voting centers open and 200 locations open on Election Day. A list of early voting locations can be found at the Travis County Clerk’s website countyclerk.traviscountytx.gov/elections
Wait times will be updated live and Travis County voters are allowed to cast their ballot at any voting center throughout the county where there is a “Vote Here/Aqui” sign.
Anyone who is registered to vote may vote early, but it must be done in person unless you qualify to vote by mail.
Early voting Oct. 13 – Oct. 30
Closest nearby early voting sites
7 a.m. – 7 p.m. Mon.-Sat.
Noon – 6 p.m. Sunday
Peace Lutheran Church
10625 RM 620 N 78726
Lakeway Activity Center
105 Cross Creek 78734
Election Day Nov. 3
Polling places in Four Points
7 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Canyon Ridge Middle School
12601 Country Trails Ln 78732
St. Luke’s on the Lake Episcopal Church
5600 RM 620 N.
Peace Lutheran Church
10625 RM 620 N. 78726
Volente Fire Department
15406 RM 2769 78641
What form of ID do I need to bring?
You’ll need one of seven types of valid photo ID to vote in Texas:
- A state driver’s license (issued by the Texas Department of Public Safety)
- A Texas election identification certificate (issued by DPS)
- A Texas personal identification card (issued by DPS)
- A Texas license to carry a handgun (issued by DPS)
- A U.S. military ID card with a personal photo
- A U.S. citizenship certificate with a personal photo
- A U.S. passport
Voting by mail
The last day to apply for a ballot by mail is Oct. 23. The deadline for mail-in ballots to be returned to Travis County is Nov. 3.
If they’re postmarked by 7 p.m. on election day, they’ll be counted if they’re received by the county on Nov. 4 by 5 p.m.
The U.S. Postal Service recommends that Texans ask for mail-in ballots no later than 15 days ahead of that due date and that they drop completed ballots in the mail a week before the deadline.
Citizens are only allowed to vote by mail for one of the following four reasons:
- You will not be in your county Nov. 3 (Election Day) or the entire span of early voting.
- You have a sickness or disability that prevents you from voting in person without needing personal assistance or without the likelihood of injuring your health.
- You will be 65 years old or older by Election Day.
- You are confined in jail but otherwise eligible (i.e., not convicted of a felony).
This report was compiled by Lynette Haaland. Mandi Cai, Carla Astudillo, Yasmeen Khalifa, and Catherine Delaura of the Texas Tribune also contributed.