BASTROP COUNTY, Texas — This year, Bastrop County plans to use machines for early voting, which starts on Oct. 13. Before this, the county had only used paper ballots for early voting.
The Bastrop County Commissioners Court approved the ExpressVote ballot machines at a meeting on Aug. 10.
Any voter wishing to still use a paper ballot still has the option to vote in their voting precinct on Election Day.
The County said ballot cards marked using the machines are still counted in the same way as traditional paper ballots.
Voters must provide one of seven approved forms of photo identification, unless you are a voter with a permanent exemption on your voter registration certificate.
After providing ID at a polling place, you will be asked to sign a tablet and be issued a voting card. That card will be inserted into the ballot machine before you make your selections on a touchscreen.
All selections can be reviewed before printing the ballot card. The ballot card is then inserted into the ballot box to be counted.
The deadline to register to vote in time for the Nov. 3 election is Monday, Oct. 5. The deadline to complete a ballot-by-mail application is Friday, Oct. 23.
Ballots will begin being mailed late September or early October, Bastrop County said. Those wishing to hand-deliver their completed mail ballots can drop them off to the Bastrop County Elections Department, located at 804 Pecan St. during regular business hours.
Bastrop County said it will offer curbside drop-off for mail ballots. Only the voter who voted the ballot can hand deliver it. The voter must present an acceptable form of identification and must sign their envelope and enclose the ballot. The voter will then be asked to sign a signature roster verifying their hand delivery.
The curbside drop-off will begin on Oct. 13. Voters wishing to use this option are asked to travel eastbound on Walnut Street, between Water Street and Pecan Street. Traffic on Walnut Street will be restricted to eastbound traffic only between Oct. 13 and Nov. 3.
The Bastrop County Elections Department said it will introduce the early voting system at open houses on:
- Thursday, Au. 27, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Bastrop County Courthouse Annex
- Tuesday, Sept. 1, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Cedar Creek United Methodist Church
- Wednesday, Sept. 2, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Smithville City Hall
- Thursday, Sept. 3, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Elgin Public Library.
Bastrop residents can find more information on the county’s website.
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