|To:||County Clerks/Elections Administrators|
|From:||Keith Ingram, Director of Elections|
|Date:||August 13, 2012|
|RE:||Early Voting Rosters/Applications for Early Voting by Mail|
There are basically three categories of early voting information: (1) Early Voting in Person Rosters, (2) Early Voting by Mail Rosters, and (3) Applications for Early Voting by Mail. Different rules apply for when the information becomes public. All references to sections are to the Texas Election Code.
- Early Voting in Person Roster
The early voting roster of who has voted early by personal appearance must be made available for public inspection not later than the beginning of the next regular business day after the voter voted early in person. Section 87.121(g).
- Early Voting By Mail Roster
Information on the roster for a person who votes by mail is not available until the ballot has been returned to the early voting clerk or after election day, whichever is earlier. Section 87.121(f) & (h). There is an exception to this general rule that allows the voter to review the roster to verify that his or her information is accurate. Section 87.121(f).
Please note that there is a distinction between mail ballots which have been returned (Section 87.121(h)) and mail ballots which have not yet been returned (Section 87.121(f)). Information on the roster about mail ballots which have been voted and returned is available sooner – not later than the day following the day the early voting clerk receives the ballot voted by mail. Information about mail ballots which have not yet been returned is available later – not earlier than the first business day after election day (reflecting the greater security concerns about a mail ballot which is still out in circulation).
We suggest that you maintain two rosters for mail-in voters - one roster for ballots that have been mailed and returned, and a second roster of voters who have ballots mailed, but not received.
- Applications for Early Voting by Mail
A copy of an application for a ballot to be voted by mail is not available for public inspection, except to the voter seeking to verify that the information pertaining to the voter is accurate, until the first business day after election day. Section 86.014(a), NEW LAW, House Bill 2449, 2011 Legislature. The original application to vote by mail and corresponding carrier envelope are not available for public inspection until those materials are delivered to the general custodian of election records after the election. Section 86.014(b).