Texas Absentee Ballot Guide

Last updated June 16, 2014
Military and Overseas voters should visit the Overseas Vote Foundation. Long Distance Voter's information should only be used by voters with US mailing addresses.

Important Deadlines

  • Voter Registration Form: Postmarked 30 days before the election
  • Absentee Ballot Application: Received by the close of business on the 9th day before the election (however, it must be a weekday, so it will actually be the 2nd Friday before an election for most elections)
  • Voted Absentee Ballot: Received by 7:00 pm on Election Day

How to vote by absentee ballot 

Register to vote

Recommended: Use our Voter Registration Tool.  Enter your information, print and sign the completed form, and mail it to the address printed on the form. 

Verify your voter registration

It's best to verify your voter registration before applying for your absentee ballot.  If there's a problem with your registration, register again before proceeding.

NOTE: Most people receive their voter registration cards in the mail 2-3 weeks after registering to vote. Don't worry if you lost your voter registration card. You don't actually need it to vote.

Make sure you're eligible to vote by absentee ballot

You may vote absentee in Texas if you are:

  • going to be away from your county on election day and during early voting;
  • sick or disabled;
  • 65 years of age or older on election day; or
  • confined in jail, but eligible to vote.

Apply for your absentee ("early by-mail") ballot

In Texas, they call it "early voting by mail." You can start applying for an early voting ballot 60 days before the election.  Download and complete the Texas application for an absentee ballot.  Mail, fax, or hand-deliver your completed application to your County Clerk. Be sure to write "Early Voting Clerk" on the envelope.  If you hand-deliver your application, it must be delivered before the start of the early voting period (17 days before the election).  Once early voting has started, absentee ballot applications will only be accepted by mail, common or contract carrier, or by fax.

Receive, complete, and return your absentee ballot

Fill out your ballot, sign where indicated, put a stamp on it, and then mail your absentee ballot back to your County Clerk.  Your absentee ballot must be received by the close of polls on election day.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Do I need to provide ID when I vote by absentee ballot in Texas?

You do not need to provide ID if you have already voted at least once in Texas.  If you are a first time voter and you did not put your drivers license number or Social Security number on your voter registration form then you must include a copy of one of the following forms of Photo ID with your absentee ballot application:

  • Texas Driver License issued by Texas DPS
  • Texas Election Identification Certificate (EIC) issued by DPS
  • Texas Personal Identification Card issued by DPS
  • Texas Concealed Handgun License issued by DPS
  • U.S. Military ID card containing your photograph
  • U.S. Citizenship Certificate containing your photograph
  • U.S. Passport

(All documents except the U.S. citizenship certificate must be current or no more than 60 days expired.)

NOTE: If you are disabled, in the military, or living overseas, you are NOT required to include a copy of your identification. However, you must complete and return a special form to that effect, which your Texas County Elections Office should mail to you.

I missed the absentee ballot application deadline in Texas.  Is there anything I can do?  

In most cases, no.  If you experience a death in your family on or after the third day before an election - and you can no longer vote in person - you can request an Emergency Absentee Ballot.  Complete the Texas Emergency Absentee Ballot Application and hand-deliver it to your Early Voting Clerk on or after the 3rd day before election day and before 5pm the day before the election.

Can I vote in person before the election in Texas?

Yes. Check out our Early Voting page for details.

Additional Information

State Election Website: http://www.votexas.org/
Email address: elections@sos.state.tx.us
Local Election Officials: Your Local Election Official is the best person to contact if you have questions.  They'll be able to provide up-to-date information on rules and deadlines. 


Every person who shares helps us reach three more voters.