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Texas public officials can no longer promote voting by mail (but we can)

The elections office in Bexar County is the online site where voters can hand deliver a mail ballot
Jolene Almendarez
Texas Public Radio
The elections office in Bexar County is the online site where voters can hand deliver a mail ballot

It’s a new year and there are new voter laws in place for Texas elections in 2022.

It's now illegal for public officials in Texas to promote voting by mail. So, independent voting rights advocates will likely try to spread the word. Grace Chimene is the president of the League of Women Voters of Texas.

"They can put the information on their website — that is not illegal. What they can't do is say, 'Would you like to vote by mail?' They can't offer (it) when they're out registering voters. They can't give people an application to vote by mail," said Chimene.

Texas County elections offices are prohibited from sending applications to vote by mail unless a voter specifically requests one.

Political parties are allowed to send out vote-by-mail applications. The deadline to submit a vote-by-mail application in order to vote in the March primaries is Feb. 18. The deadline to register to vote or update your voter registration information is Jan. 31.

Republicans have increasingly criticized voting by mail in recent years, following the lead of former President Donald Trump. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton quoted an Austin prosecutor who said voting by mail "invites fraud." There is no evidence of mass voter fraud from mail-in ballots.

Locally, more information is available on the Bexar County Elections website.

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Jerry Clayton can be reached at jerry@tpr.org or on Twitter at @jerryclayton.
David Martin Davies can be reached at dmdavies@tpr.org and on Twitter at @DavidMartinDavi