Election Division Knowledgebase

Next Election: November 03, 2020 - General and Special Elections
Early Voting: October 13, 2020 - October 30, 2020

Knowledgebase Frequently Asked Questions

Yes. Voters need to bring an approved form of identification to vote at the polling location. Voters can find a list of the approved forms of voting identification at /VotingInfo?lang=en-US#IDs

A Declaration of Reasonable Impediment is a document that eligible registered voters who do not possess an acceptable form of photo identification must complete and provide a supporting document to cast a regular ballot. /VotingInfo?lang=en-US#IDs

Voters who do not possess an acceptable form of photo ID or a supporting document have the option of voting via a Provisional Ballot. The Provisional Ballot must be cured within the 6 days following the election.

Yes. Voting equipment allows disable voters to vote independently. Voters physically unable to enter the polling location may also request to be allowed to vote at the “curbside” outside the polling location. /VotingInfo?lang=en-US#DisabledVoters

Yes. On the voter's request, the voter may be assisted by any person selected by the voter other than the voter's employer, an agent of the voter's employer, or an officer or agent of a labor union to which the voter belongs.

If a voter has a question while in the voting booth, the voter should press the help button on the eSlate and/or notify the Election Staff.

Wireless communication devices are prohibited within the polling location. The taking of photographs is prohibited within the polling location.

No. During the time a polling place is open for the conduct of voting, a person may not electioneer for or against any candidate, measure, or political party in or within 100 feet of an outside door through which a voter may enter the building or structure in which the polling place is located.

The voting process is complete when the voter presses the red Cast Ballot button and sees the waving American flag on the screen.

Early Voting In-person: Limited Ballot A registered voter in the state of Texas may qualify to vote a limited ballot at the main early voting site during the early voting period in a federal and state election. For more information see section 112.001 to 112.0012 of the Texas Election Code.

Early Voting By Personal Appearance means that a registered voter in Texas may vote prior to General Election Day during a period designated by state law.

Texas Election Code: Sec. 85.001. EARLY VOTING PERIOD.

  • General Election: During a General Election the period for early voting by personal appearance begins on the 17th day before Election Day and continues through the fourth day before Election Day, except as otherwise provided.
  • Runoff Election: The Early Voting Period for a special runoff election for the office of state senator or state representative or for a runoff primary election begins on the 10th day before election day.
  • If the date prescribed by Subsection (a) or (b) for beginning the period is a Saturday, Sunday, or legal state holiday, the early voting period begins on the next regular business day.

Any qualified voter may vote early by personal appearance. No reason is needed.

Any qualified voter may vote in person at the main early voting polling place or at any other designated early voting branch location during designated times. Usually, there are numerous early voting locations in Harris County during the conduct of a countywide election.

Early Voting by Personal Appearance was introduced in Texas in the mid-1990s to make voting more convenient for the citizenry. It also provides voters who may be away from the county of residence on Election Day the opportunity to vote in person.

By law, in counties with a population of 400,000 or more, the commissioners court has the authority to establish at least one early voting site at each state representative district.

Election Day polls are open from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Any person that is registered to vote in Harris County may vote. In Texas, a person must register to vote 30 days before Election Day, if never registered to vote.

Yes. It is not necessary to have voted in the Primary or Primary Runoff to vote in the General Election.

Typically, Federal, State and County contests appear on the County ballot in even-numbered years. Other municipalities within Harris County may also join the ballot, including independent school districts, utility and emergency services districts and community colleges.

Straight Party voting is the practice of choosing the Straight Party option on the ballot and by this means casting a vote for all candidates of the same political party.

In Texas, primary elections are conducted by the major political parties to determine their nominees for a given elective office in advance of a general election.

Any person that is registered to vote in Harris County may vote in either the Republican Primary Election or the Democratic Primary Election (NOT both). In Texas, a person must register to vote 30 days before Election Day, if never registered to vote.

Yes. It is not necessary to have voted in the Primary to vote in a Primary Runoff Election. However, during an election cycle, a voter that participated in a Primary Election may ONLY participate in the Primary Runoff Election of the Party in which the voter initially voted.

Typically, Federal, State and County contests appear on the Primary Election ballot. Political Parties may also offer nonbinding propositions.

No. In a Primary Election, all candidates are affiliated with the same major political party.

Straight Party voting is the practice of choosing the Straight Party option on the ballot and by this means casting a vote for all candidates of the same political party. This option is NOT available on a Primary Election ballot.

To be eligible to vote by mail in Texas, you must:

  • Be 65 years or older
  • Be disabled: (Texas Election Code Sec. 82.002 provides "A qualified voter is eligible… if the voter has a sickness or physical condition that prevents the voter from appearing at the polling place on election day without a likelihood of needing personal assistance or of injuring the voter's health.")
  • Be out of the county on election day and during the period for early voting by personal appearance; or
  • Be confined in jail, but otherwise eligible.

An application for ballot by mail may be submitted at any time in the year of the election for which a ballot is requested, but not later than the close of regular business in the early voting clerk's office or 12 noon, whichever is later, on the 11th day before election day unless that day is a Saturday, Sunday, or legal state or national holiday, in which case the last day is the first preceding regular business day.

Voters may obtain an application by:

An applicant can receive assistance in completing and submitting an application for a ballot by mail. Individual acting as a witness or assistant MUST carefully review the instructions and complete appropriate section of the application.

An application for a mail ballot must be submitted by:

  1. Mail;
  2. Common or contract carrier;
  3. Telephonic facsimile machine or electronic transmission; if application is submitted via these options, to be effective, the application also must be submitted by mail and be received by the early voting clerk not later than the fourth business day after the transmission by telephonic facsimile machine or electronic transmission is received.
  4. The applicant, if the application is submitted no later than the close of regular business in the clerk's office in person on the day before the first day of the period for early voting by personal appearance.

  • Mail ballots shall be mailed to a voter entitled to vote by mail no later than the seventh calendar day after the latter of the dates the clerk accepts the voter's application or the date the ballots become available for mailing, except that if that mailing date is earlier than the 37th day before Election Day, the balloting materials shall be mailed no later than the 30th day before election day.
  • Voters outside the United States shall be mailed a mail ballot on or before the later of the 45th day before Election Day or the seventh calendar day after the date the clerk receives the application.

A marked mail ballot must be returned to the early voting clerk in the official carrier envelope. The carrier envelope may be delivered in another envelope, but must be transported and delivered only by:

  1. Mail;
  2. Common or contract carrier; or
  3. The voter who voted the ballot, in person, to the early voting clerk's office only while the polls are open on Election Day. The voter who delivers a ballot in person must present an acceptable form of identification.

Except for ballots mailed from overseas, a marked vote by mail ballot must arrive at the address on the carrier envelope:

  1. Before the time the polls are required to close on Election Day; or
  2. No later than 5 p.m. on the day after Election Day, if the carrier envelope was placed for delivery by mail or common or contract carrier before election day and bears a cancellation mark of a common or contract carrier or a courier indicating a time not later than 7 p.m. at the location of the election on Election Day.

Follow the provided instructions carefully to ensure ballot is completed correctly. If you need guidance addressing an inadvertent mark, call 713.755.3150.

Yes. All the votes you cast will be counted. You have the right to skip any measure or contest.

Yes, it will. Your elections department will securely process your ballot if your security envelope is unsealed.

When your mail ballot is delivered to the elections office, the returned carrier enveloped is logged and scanned. Then, the seal envelope with the ballot is placed in a secure bank style vault until the Early Voting Ballot Board (EVBB) makes a determination on the acceptance of a voter’s ballot. The EVBB consists of persons nominated by the chairs of major political parties that have contests on the ballot. The members of the EVBB are approved by the County’s Election Board.


The EVBB convenes between the end of the period for early voting by personal appearance and the closing of the polls on Election Day, or as soon after closing as practicable, at the time or times specified by the presiding judge of the board to review balloting materials. The EVBB matches the voter’s signature on the mail ballot return envelope to the application for a mail ballot and/or the application to register to vote to make a determination on whether to accept or reject a mail ballot.

Preliminary election results released on election night at 7 p.m. include all votes cast via mail ballots delivered to the early voting clerk by 7 p.m. on Election Day that were reviewed and accepted by the Early Voting Ballot Board. Votes cast by mail ballots postmarked by Election Day and received no later than 5 p.m. on the day after Election Day are included in the final tally if accepted by the Ballot Board.

  • Yes. If you vote early in-person, the mail ballot process will be cancelled at the poll.
  • Yes. If you vote on Election Day, you should take the mail ballot to the polling location to enable voting a regular ballot. If you do not have the mail ballot with you, you may vote a provisional ballot.

You can locate your nearest Early Voting or Election Day voting center by logging into www.HarrisVotes.com or contacting your county's elections department at 713.755.5792.

Election Division Contact Us

Information is vital to accessing the voting process. For this reason, I encourage you to contact us if you have a question, need assistance or have a suggestion.

Election Help Line

(713) 755-6965

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Elections Department

1001 Preston, 4th Floor, Rm. 439
Houston, TX 77002

(713) 755-5792
county.clerk@cco.hctx.net

ADA Coordinator: Rachelle Obakozuwa

(713) 755-6965
ada@cco.hctx.net

County Clerk Main Office

201 Caroline , 4th Floor, Rm. 460
Houston, TX 77002

(713) 274-8600