Harris County clerk asks Gov. Greg Abbott to extend deadline to receive mail-in ballots

Harris County Clerk Chris Hollins requested Gov. Greg Abbott extend the deadline for county election administrators to receive mail ballots in the upcoming Nov. 3 election to Nov. 9. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Harris County Clerk Chris Hollins requested Gov. Greg Abbott extend the deadline for county election administrators to receive mail ballots in the upcoming Nov. 3 election to Nov. 9. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

Harris County Clerk Chris Hollins requested Gov. Greg Abbott extend the deadline for county election administrators to receive mail ballots in the upcoming Nov. 3 election to Nov. 9. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

Harris County Clerk Chris Hollins requested Gov. Greg Abbott extend the deadline for county election administrators to receive mail ballots in the upcoming Nov. 3 election to Nov. 9. Officials in an Aug. 20 press release said the request for an extension was to reassure residents in the wake of national news reporting expected delays from the U.S. Postal Service.

Most mail ballots are due by 7 p.m. on Election Day or by 5 p.m. the following day if postmarked by 5 p.m. on Nov. 3, according to the county. The deadline for military voters’ ballots to be received is Nov. 9. To give county election officials enough time to prepare voting materials, Hollins asked the deadline be extended by Aug. 31.

“This November, we are predicting record voter turnout, and my office is receiving thousands of vote-by-mail applications,” Hollins said in a statement. “As the situation stands now, a mail ballot postmarked on Election Day is unlikely to be received in our office the following day. We know that voting by mail is the safest way to vote—I hope that the governor accepts this request to avoid disenfranchising thousands of Harris County voters due to mail delays beyond our control.”

This is not the first election-related request Hollins has submitted to Abbott. Following a July request to extend the early voting period, Abbott moved the start of early voting to Oct. 13.

In his Aug. 19 message to the governor, Hollins said Harris County saw a 550% increase in the use of mail-in ballots in the primary runoff election this July over the 2016 primary runoff, and he expects an increase in voting by mail during the November election as well.

“Ensuring that all voters have their votes counted and their voices heard in November is of paramount importance to our democracy,” he said. “You have the power to make sure that votes case by mail are properly counted by extending the delivery deadline for all mail ballots postmarked on or before Election Day to Monday, November—the same deadline that currently exists in Texas for military voters.”


Learn more about the upcoming election at www.harrisvotes.com.
By Danica Lloyd
Danica joined Community Impact Newspaper as a Cy-Fair reporter in May 2016 after graduating with a journalism degree from Union University in Jackson, Tennessee. She covers education, local government, business, demographic trends, real estate development and nonprofits.


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