Why Vote In Person?

Apparently, lots of folks plan to vote by mail. If this applies to you, do you understand the importance of a USPS postmark? The intended purpose of the postmark is to prevent fraudulent re-use of lick-em-and-stick-em stamps. But, a lot of postage stamps go through without getting a postmark. All documents received in the Rockwall County Elections office are manually stamped with the time and date received. If your form gets to the office, it will be counted. The question is, will it get there on time?

A Quick History Lesson – 2016 Mail-In Voting

MAIL IN BALLOTS WILL BE MAILED NO LATER THAN THE 5TH OF OCTOBER. IF YOU WISH TO CHECK THE STATUS OF YOUR BALLOT BY MAIL EMAIL clynch@rockwallcountytexas.com YOU WILL HAVE A RESPONSE WITHIN 48 HOURS. PLEASE REVIEW THE ATTORNEY GENERAL’S GUIDANCE ABOUT ELIGIBILITY FOR BALLOT BY MAIL. YOU MAY RETURN YOUR BALLOT IN PERSON AT THE ELECTION OFFICE OR BY MAIL ANYTIME AFTER YOU HAVE COMPLETED IT BUT NOT LATER THAN NOVEMBER 3RDRockwall County Elections Department

Who Qualifies for Mail-In Ballot?

On May 1, 2020, this Office provided guidance to public officials to correct misconceptions about the availability of ballots by mail in light of the COVID-19 epidemic.1 Inaccurate statements by public officials and private groups, as well as misreporting by the media, incorrectly informed voters that anyone who wished to avoid in-person voting because of fear of contracting COVID19 could claim disability status and receive a ballot by mail regardless of whether that voter would need personal assistance to vote in-person or risk injuring their health because of a sickness or physical condition. This Office advised that based on the plain language of the relevant statutory text, fear of contracting COVID-19 unaccompanied by a qualifying sickness or physical condition does not constitute a disability under the Texas Election Code for purposes of receiving a ballot by mail.2Attorney General of Texas, Ken Paxton: Ballot by Mail Based on Disability

If you qualify for a mail-in ballot, there is a high degree of probability it will get a postmark because the voter must use a regular postage stamp and the USPS has a goal of 96% on-time delivery.

“Usually I order [medical prescriptions] online, and I don’t have any trouble,” said Beach, a Navy veteran who lives in Gaylord, Mich. “But the way the mail is these days, you don’t know when you’re going to get your stuff.”

WAPO, 19 Aug 2020 | Postal problems could continue despite suspension of policies blamed for mail delays

News Stories – Quick Reads on Mail-In Voting

If You Are Not Registered To Vote Where You Presently Live, You Will Be Disappointed

You can update your voter registration quickly and easily BEFORE October 5, 2020.

Sad Stories

Husband and wife moved from Dallas County to Rockwall County. After a long wait to vote at a Rockwall County polling place, they discover they are not registered to vote in Rockwall County. The couple first went to the old Dallas County precinct polling place where they were told they had to go to a Rockwall County polling place.

Another example: a couple moved from Lubbock County where they are registered voters to Rockwall County where they have not registered. During early voting, the couple can vote a limited ballot, but not on election day.

Husband and wife moved to Texas from California, assuming their California registration was valid. It was not. Out of state voters can vote a provisional ballot but this ballot will not count in the vote totals.

Here’s the simple takeaway: REGISTER in the county where you currently reside. If you moved within a Texas county, REGISTER. If you moved from Dallas County to Rockwall County, REGISTER.

Registering to vote is NOT how Texans become registered as Republicans, Democrats, or Libertarians. Party assignment happens when a Texas resident votes in a PRIMARY ELECTION. Only persons who vote in primary elections can vote in partisan runoff elections. All registered voters can vote for any candidate of any party in a GENERAL ELECTION.

Registration Options

Online through the Texas Secretary of State | Voter Registration Application who are authorized to register voters for two years. My own certification expires on December 31, 2020. In fact, ALL of them expire on this date.

Register through a Rockwall County certified Volunteer Deputy Registrar. Although the volunteers have partisan affiliations, they are not permitted to promote a party. You can ask the volunteers their affiliations and they can tell you their party affiliation. It’s not unlawful to be a Democrat, Republican, Libertarian, or independent voter but they are not permitted to promote their partisanship to you.

The Volunteer Deputy Registrars will typically have available to you three forms: a white mail-in form that goes to the Texas Secretary of State’s office in Austin, a white mail-in form that goes to the local county elections office, and a blue form which I highly recommend.

Why do I prefer the blue form? It cannot be lost in the mail. This bi-lingual form has three parts: the main part is the actual registration form the volunteer will turn in to the Rockwall County Elections Office. The second (middle) part is a receipt retained by the volunteer. The third (bottom) part is a receipt retained by the voter. Regardless what happens at the post office, your vote will be counted.

Stuff Happens – The two white forms can be lost in the mail. The blue form cannot be lost in the mail but can be unintentionally mishandled, thereby delaying your registration to appear in the computerized records. A voter can use his or her receipt to vote in his or her appropriate precinct polling place.

Our regular postman of many years does a terrific job. He knows us by name and he recognizes us. Due to the fact our postman gets a couple of days off each week, our mail is sometimes incorrectly delivered. I have received mail for a chick-fil-a Restaurant four miles away. My neighbors have received mail addressed to my home. It happens.

Where do you find a local Volunteer Deputy Registrar? They will typically be set up in public shopping areas, church or synagogue or mosque lobbies, local party headquarters, local High School lobbies, through Facebook contacts, etc. If one of the volunteers promotes either their party or specific candidates, report them immediately to the Rockwall County Elections Office.

When you vote, you usually get the government you want; when you do not vote, you usually get the government you deserve.

John White
Rockwall, Texas

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