Confusion around mail-in voting process raises questions among voters weeks before Election Day


Juan Diaz

To qualify for mail-in voting in Texas, you must be 65 or older, confined in jail or cite a disability. As for those out of their home county, like many college students, you may apply for an absentee ballot.

Election Day is less than two months away, and the idea of mail-in ballots is still raising questions of concern for voters. Although COVID-19 continues to discourage people from visiting their local polling stations, Texas will require residents to vote in person on Nov. 3 unless determined otherwise.

Specific qualifications are in place that allow registered Texas residents to vote by sending in a mail-in ballot. Those qualified to vote by a mail-in ballot in Texas are those “65 years or older, cite a disability or illness or are confined in jail but are still able to vote,” according to The Texas Tribune. Anyone who will not be present in their home county on Election Day or during the early voting period will also be allowed to submit a mail-in ballot, in that case, an absentee ballot. An absentee ballot is available to voters when they won’t be present to vote in their home county. 

Students are eligible to vote in Texas if they are a U.S. Citizen, a resident of Texas and 18 years old or older by Nov. 3. Determining where you should be registered to vote depends on where you currently live. If you are a student living on campus and want to vote in Travis County, you must register to vote using your university address. If you are not living in your home county in Texas, you must either update your voter registration form to add your most current address, request an absentee ballot or travel to your home county to vote in person.

If you are interested in requesting a mail-in ballot because you fall under the qualifications, or know you will not be in your home county to vote, you must submit your request by Oct. 23. Instructions to vote by mail include filling out an absentee ballot application and submitting the request to your local election office. Complete and return your ballot as soon as it arrives to prevent any delay in your ballot being counted.

Early voting begins Oct. 13 and ends Oct. 30. During that period, find your local polling station to vote early. On Election Day, those cleared to vote in Travis County can visit the UFCU Alumni Gym on campus to cast their vote. To check your voter registration status, visit On the site you will be able to enter your information to determine if you are registered to vote and in which county.