Voting while traveling is a little complicated but don’t let that stop you from exercising your most valuable right!
There’s Still Time To Vote!
For Texas, for the General Election on November 3, applications to vote by mail must be received by October 23.
Completed ballots must be received by 7:00 PM on November 3.
All you need to do is request an Absentee Ballot application from the County Clerk in the county where you have chosen to domicile. Complete it and mail it back. Call and check to see if they got it. They will send you a Absentee Ballot. Complete it, sign it, and mail it back.
We use Escapees mail service in Livingston and they will let us know when it arrives and will send it wherever we happen to be. This will be our second time to Absentee vote.
They just posted very detailed information for absentee voting for the 3 states they use for domiciling – Texas, South Dakota and Florida. Texas is below. You can find the others here: Absentee Voting
Speights v. Willis
In 2002, Escapees, Inc. was involved in a lawsuit in Polk County, Texas, with Speights v. Willis, No.09-02-192 CV (App. Ct. – Beaumont, October 24, 2002). The court determined in that lawsuit that members of Escapees RV Club who had created a domicile in Polk County, Texas, could vote in that county. This is one of the many reasons “establishing a domicile” is so important, especially for full-time RVers. If you are concerned about whether you have an established domicile, this case is helpful.
Rights at Risk
Your voting rights are currently at risk, so protect your right to vote by voting. The Supreme Court is now considering an Ohio law that purges the voting rolls of those who haven’t voted in a two-year period. Is it Constitutional to purge the rolls of those who fail to vote? The Supreme Court appears to say yes.
Voting Absentee in Polk County, Texas
Registering to Vote
In Polk County, Texas you must register to vote at least 30 days before the day of the election. You can get your application for registration via VoteTexas.gov, a website created by the Texas Secretary of State.
For the 2020 election cycle, registration deadlines as are follows:
- Presidential Primary- February 3
- Primary Runoff- April 27
- General Election- October 5
For the 2020 election cycle, early voting in the Presidential Primary begins February 18 and ends February 28. Early voting for the Primary Runoff election is May 18-22. Early voting in the General Election is October 19-30.
You can only vote early by mail (they do not call it absentee voting in Texas) if:
(1) you will be away from your county on election day and during the hours that early voting is conducted; or
(2) you are sick or disabled; or
(3) you are 65 years of age or older on election day; or
(4) you are confined in jail.
Voting by Mail
In Texas, voting absentee is a bit more complicated than in Florida and South Dakota.
Even if you have already filed to vote absentee in the primary and run-off elections held earlier in the year, you must request yet again to vote absentee in the general election unless you are 65 or older and then you only need to request absentee voting annually.
The link for the application by mail is: http://www.co.polk.tx.us/upload/page/3566/docs/CountyClerk/mail%20in%20application.pdf
For the 2020 election cycle, you can submit your request to vote by-mail as early as January 1, 2020. Submission deadlines are as follows:
- For the Presidential Primary election on March 3, applications to vote by mail must be received by February 21, 2020. Completed ballots must be received by March 3 at 7:00 PM.
- For the Primary Runoff election on May 26, applications to vote by mail must be received by May 15. Completed ballots must be received by 7:00 PM on May 26.
- For the General Election on November 3, applications to vote by mail must be received by October 23. Completed ballots must be received by 7:00 PM on November 3
To see the full list of dates for 2020? Visit thewebsite of the Texas Secretary of State.
Once your application is received by the Country Clerk, a ballot will then be mailed to you.
The ballot must be mailed to an address outside of Polk County unless you are 65 or older or disabled (no proof necessary); however, you must indicate your reason for applying for an absentee ballot, e.g. disabled, away traveling, etc.
Escapees Mail Service members who will be traveling outside of Polk County may have their ballots sent to the following address for a a $5.00-per-ballot fee charged to their postage account to help defray the costs for this service.
c/o Escapees RV Club
PO Box 1578
Shepherd, TX 77371
This box is for Escapees members who will be away traveling and do not have a secure temporary mailing address that they are comfortable using. Escapees Mail Service agents will forward these ballots on to you, but it is important to recognize that this can cause an additional time delay. It is always best to have your applications and ballots sent directly to you if at all possible.You can mail your complete ballot via USPS, UPS, FedEx to:
101 W Mill ST Ste 265
Livingston TX, 77351