Even though voters have flocked to the polls in early voting, there are still those who have questions about the process. Here is some information that may help.
YES, you can vote anywhere in Tarrant County for early voting and on November 3rd. Voters are allowed to vote at any of the 50 polling places across Tarrant County to cast a vote. Recent upgrades and new voting machines, quarantee that the ballot that a voter using at any site will be the same as in their local precinct and will be counted.
YES, you can check on wait times at most voting locations by checking out the interactive map on the Tarrant County Elections webpage. It will show you where wait times are 30 minutes or less, 30 to 45 minutes, 45 to 60, and over an hour. Locations like Kennedale Community Center have averaged 30 minutes or less most days while the location in Mansfield at the Tarrant County Sub-Court House has consistently averaged over an hour with two hour wait time reported.
YES, to wearing a face covering. While not officially mandated by the Texas Governor Greg Abbott, it is encouraged and it is the respectful thing to do for those waiting in line and especially for the poll workers who are cooped up in a room for hours as hundreds of strangers file through.
NO, to wearing a candidate’s hat, sticker, face covering, t-shirt, etc. All that is considered campaigning which is a no at polling sites. Wearing or carrying any items with a candidate’s name or slogan is not allowed. Texas law restricts campaigning within 100 feet of a polling site. You can be asked to leave before you get a chance to vote.
YES, to bringing a cheat-sheet to the polls. There a number of candidates and offices to vote on in this election. If you need help in remembering who you want to vote for this time around, it is ok to bring your list. It can be the sample ballot that you printed off the Tarrant County Election website and filled out before hand or just a handwriten or typed list.
NO, to using your phone/electronic devices/cameras while voting. You may have put your list on your phone or tablet but you will not be allowed to use it. Cameras are forbidden at polling sites which includes those that are on phones. Since most hand-held phones and similar devices have a camera function those are included in banned items. To avoid issues while attempting to vote, keep all devices in your pocket or purse when you enter a polling place. If you are outside in line, there are no restrictions to using you phone.
NO, to loitering outside a voting center. Haha, who loiters now? This is actually in reference to those who might be there to campaign or possibly intimate voters. Yes, standing across the street or just off the property where voting is taking place is legal.
NO, to causing “a disturbance” at a polling place. If you getting tired of waiting in line or frustrated with the process on an early voting day, go home and come back the next day. If it is the last day of voting, mentally go on vacation until it is your time to vote. You do not want a ticket or the embarrassment of being escorted off the property.
YES, it is still possible to cast a vote even if your name is not on the list. At the polling site, if an election worker can’t find your name on the list of registered voters in Tarrant County, you may request a provisional ballot. Be aware that the provisional ballot will only be counted when the Tarrant County Election Office verifies that you are legal voter on further review.
Mail-in voting and voting twice …
YES, there is still time to request an absentee ballot/mail-in ballot. The deadline for requesting a mail-in ballot is Friday, October 23, 2020. Voters who have received a mail-in ballot can drop it at a U.S. Postal Service collection site (including an old-fashioned mailbox) as long as its postmarked no later than Nov. 3, Election Day.
NO, not everyone is eligible to vote by mail. People with disabilities or those 65 and older may use mail-in ballots. College students, military members and others who know they will be out of the county also qualify.
NO, mail-in ballots do not have to be mailed if you have fears of it getting lost in the mail. Tarrant County has one location as designated by Governor Abbott where mail-in ballots can be dropped off in person. The drop-off location is at the Tarrant County Election Administration, 2700 Premier St., Fort Worth.
NO, to voting twice. You can vote in person even if you have a mail-in ballot but have not mail it or dropped it off. The best way is bring it with you to the voting location and let the election judges cancel it, otherwise, you will be issued a provisional ballot that will not be counted until it is shown that you have not use the mail-in ballot within the time required. Remember that there is a record kept of all those who have been sent mail-in ballots. Therefore it is not possible for your vote to be counted twice once all votes ballots have been certified after the election.
Helpful links …
Remaining dates/times for early voting …
October 19 – 23 Monday – Friday 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
October 24 Saturday 7:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
October 25 Sunday 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
October 26 – 30 Monday – Friday 7:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
November 3 Tuesday 7:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. ELECTION DAY
See the complete list of all Tarrant County early voting sites here. Registered voters can vote at any early at any Tarrant voting location.