To the editor:
Voting is the fundamental and most important privilege and requirement of citizenship in the United States of America.
In Texas, if a citizen who is registered to vote meets one of four criteria, that citizen may vote by mail.
What: Voting by mail means that the citizen applied for an absentee ballot, returned the completed application to the Early Voting Clerk in that citizen’s county, received an absentee ballot to complete and return by mail, and returned that ballot so it was received by the Early Voting Clerk by the deadlines.
Who: To vote absentee, the citizen MUST be:
• 65 years or age or older;
• Going to be out of their county of residence during the early voting period AND on the actual election day, or:
• Confined in jail but otherwise eligible to vote.
How: If you meet one of the criteria for absentee voting, you must request and receive an Application for Ballot By Mail. You can get an ABBM for Kerr County by:
• Calling the Early Voting Clerk at 792-2242 and asking that an ABBM be sent to you;
• Writing to the Early Voting Clerk at 700 Main Street, Kerrville, Kerr County, Texas, or faxing the Early Voting Clerk at 792-2253 and requesting that an ABBM be sent to you;
• Downloading the Application for an ABBM from the website at https://webservices.sos.state.tx.us/forms/5-15f.pdf from the Secretary of State; and
• Competing and returning the ABBM to the Early Voting Clerk in your county. You can return the ABBM by mail, in person, by fax or by email. CAVEAT – if you fax or email the completed ABBM to the Early Voting Clerk, the original ABBM MUST be actually received by the Early Voting Clerk not later than the fourth business day after the Early Voting Clerk received your faxed or emailed ABBM.
When: You can request an ABBM at any time before Oct. 23, 2020.
• If you mail your original absentee ballot, it MUST be physically received by the Early Voting Clerk no later than 7 p.m. on Nov. 3, 2020, the Election Day for this presidential election, IF the carrier envelope is not postmarked, or;
• Physically received on Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2020 (next business day after Election Day) by 5 p.m. IF the carrier envelope is postmarked on or before 7 p.m. on Nov. 3, 2020, Election Day, or;
• Only the voter can physically return your completed absentee ballot to the Early Voting Clerk office at any time prior to 7:00 p.m. on Nov. 3, 2020; the voter must bring their ID with them when they turn in their ballot.
Change in plans: If you applied for an ABBM based on being out of the county during the early voting period and on Nov. 3, 2020, and your plans change, you may vote in person but must notify the election clerk that you previously applied to vote absentee. You will need to fill out a form to cancel your ABBM. If you received the ballot and now wish to vote in person, you must take the mail ballot packet and turn it in at the polling place when you cancel your ABBM. If you cannot turn in your mail ballot, you will have to vote provisionally until the Early Voting Ballot Board can determine that you had not mailed in your ballot.
Please vote: Your Country, your State and your City and County NEED you to participate in selecting your leaders.
– Fred Henneke