The Record Newspapers - Hometown News For Orange County, Texas

By Dave Rogers
For the Record 

Mail-in voters must request ballots

 

Last updated 1/13/2022 at 2:36pm

A change in state law means Texas voters who are eligible to vote by mail must request from and turn in an application to vote by mail to the county in which they live.

They must register for the service each year now, election officials say.

"In the past, we were able to maintain a database of people 65 and older or disabled that wanted to be automatically mailed applications," Cheryl Bradley, elections clerk at the Orange County Elections Administration office, said.

"Every January we would mail the application to approximately 2,000 voters.

"But the last Legislature changed the law. Government entities (counties, cities or school districts) are not allowed to automatically send applications or solicit applications.

"People have to call us and ask for it."

Voters will then receive their ballots by mail.

In order to be eligible to vote by mail, Texans must be registered to vote (the deadline is Jan. 31 to vote in the March primary), be 65 or older, disabled, or be planning to be out of the county during both early voting and election day.

Those who wish to vote by mail should request an application by calling the Orange County Elections Administration office at 409-882-7973.

Or, they can find and print out an application on the county's website under the Elections Administration department page at

https://www.co.orange.tx.us/media/Elections/2022/ABBM.REVISED%2012.02.21.pdf

The two-page can be filled out before or after it is printed, but the completed form, if printed back-to-back, can be folded in half and stamped and returned by mail.

Applications can also be dropped off weekdays at the Elections Administration office at 206 Border Street.

Early voting for the primary runs from Feb. 14-25 and the primary election is March 1.

Besides state and federal offices, two county offices have drawn contested races in the Republican primary, with incumbent Joy Dubose-Simonton facing Candice Conroy Steele for the Precinct 3 Justice of the Peace seat and five men vying for the Precinct 2 Commissioner's seat being vacated by the retiring Theresa Beauchamp.

Orange County has about 54,000 eligible voters. A record 36,058 voted in the 2020 Presidential election, with 2,387 of those votes coming via mail.

Four years ago, 29,695 Orange County votes were cast in the November 2018 election for state and largely unopposed county officials, with 1,926 voting by mail.

In the March 2018 primary election for Orange County, a total of 9,113 votes were cast, 729 by mail.

 

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