AUSTIN, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – Texans will have a little more time to get to the polls and vote in the November 3 general election.
Governor Greg Abbott issued a proclamation on Monday extending the early voting period by nearly a week.
Under this proclamation, early voting by personal appearance will begin on Tuesday, October 13, and continue through Friday, October 30.
The proclamation also expands the period in which marked mail-in ballots may be delivered in person to the early voting clerk’s office, allowing such delivery prior to as well as on Election Day.
“As we respond to COVID-19, the State of Texas is focused on strategies that preserve Texans’ ability to vote in a way that also mitigates the spread of the virus,” said Governor Abbott. “By extending the early voting period and expanding the period in which mail-in ballots can be hand-delivered, Texans will have greater flexibility to cast their ballots, while at the same time protecting themselves and others from COVID-19.”
Texas is not extending mail-in voting for those who don’t already qualify and are concerned about getting COVID-19 at a polling place.
A month ago, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected a request by Texas Democrats to allow all of the state’s 16 million registered voters to vote by mail during the coronavirus pandemic.
Texas Democratic Party Chair Gilberto Hinojosa issued the following statement on extending early voting:
“Abbott’s decision to extend early voting by six days is exactly like his COVID-19 response: the bare minimum and not fully thought through. Although this is a step, Abbott, Paxton and the rest of the statewide leadership that designed a punishing voter ID law, voter purges and redistricting maps, all struck down by federal courts, continue to do the absolute littlest they can to make it look like they value the right to vote. They don’t.
“National public health and voting experts agree: We need expanded mail voting for Texans under the age of 65, more money for county clerks to carry out elections, and leadership from our state leaders that supports voters instead of disenfranchising their rights. Governor Abbott had the opportunity to make voting convenient and safe for all Texans — he didn’t. The Texas Democratic Party is fighting everyday for every Texans’ right to vote. If only their Governor was doing the same.”
READ GOV. ABBOTT’S PROCLAMATION HERE