SAN ANTONIO — Few things in life are as sweet as placing an online order and then immediately tracking your package.
The elation one feels as the parcel of clothes, kitchen appliances, sporting goods, or what have you gets closer and closer to its final destination is unmatched by only the utter enjoyment of opening your front door to find-- why yes! a package for you.
Bexar County's new online tool is exactly like that! Only better, because 1) it's free and 2) it offers peace of mind when exercising one of your fundamental constitutional rights-- voting!
If you watched Tuesday night's presidential debate there's no doubt that you may be confused about mail-in ballots and whether your vote will actually be counted.
Much like the fake baby (or egg??? who remembers that!) you were forced to take home and care for in your home economics class, ensuring its safe travel from point A to point B and then back again to point A at the end of the week unharmed and untampered with, the Bexar County Elections Office wants to assuage any fears that voting by mail-in ballot is not okay or safe.
During a Thursday afternoon press conference, Elections Administrator Jacque Callanen announced that a new tool will allow voters to track the status of their vote-by-mail application and mail ballot.
Now with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, one might think "Perfect! I'll skip the lines at the polls and just send in my vote by mail!."
But here's what you need to know.
According to this Texas Tribune article, Texas is one of just six states that has not opened up mail-in voting to voters concerned about getting COVID-19 at a polling place.
RELATED: Here’s how to vote by mail in Texas
So while the fear of COVID-19 is not a valid excuse to vote by mail, the following reasons are:
- You are 65 years or older.
- You have a disability or illness.
- You are confined to jail but still eligible to vote.
- You won't be in the county where you're registered on Election Day and during the entire early voting period. (see: Election Q&A: What’s the difference between an absentee ballot and a mail-in ballot?)
As a reminder, you must also be registered to vote to qualify to vote by mail.
You must also be registered to vote, well, to actually vote! If you aren't sure whether you are registered to vote, you can text the word REGISTER to 210-377-8755, and we will connect you will the state database where you can confirm that you are signed up. Or you can check right here.
And if you gained nothing from this article, at the very least, walk away with this--
- The deadline to register to vote is Monday, October 5.
- Early voting begins on October 13 and lasts through October 30.
- Election Day is November 3, 2020.
Additionally, our Voter Guide 2020 covers everything you need to know about the upcoming election.
For more information on the early voting process in Bexar County, Elections Administrator Jacque Callenen's afternoon press conference can be viewed in its entirety below.