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Elections and Voter Information

Voter Information

Late Ballots Received from Outside the United States

To: County Clerks/Elections Administrators
From: Ann McGeehan, Director of Elections
Date: October 24, 2011
RE: Late Ballots Received from outside the United States

The information below serves as a reminder with respect to processing overseas ballots.


When processing late ballots received from outside the United States, please remember that ballots which were not placed in delivery by 7 p.m. on November 8, 2011 are not to be counted. Tex. Elec. Code Ann. § 86.007 (Vernon Supp. 2011). Therefore, if the carrier envelope (or other delivery envelope) contains a postmark later than November 8, 2011, the ballot may not be counted. However, remember that any ballot received from outside the United States by Monday, November 14, 2011 without a postmark is presumed to have been mailed by November 8, 2011.

Delivery Rule

Section 86.007 of the Texas Election Code (“Code”) indicates the deadline for receiving mail ballots cast from outside the United States is the fifth day after the date of the election. If the fifth day falls on a Sunday, then the deadline moves to the next regular business day. This year the deadline to receive ballots that qualify for late counting is on Monday, November 14, 2011. Additionally, Section 86.007 of the Code provides that if the early voting clerk cannot determine whether a ballot arrived before the deadline, the ballot is considered to have arrived at the time that the place (at which the carrier envelopes are deposited) was last inspected for removal of returned ballots. It further provides that the clerk shall check for returned ballots, at least once before the deadline, after the normal delivery time on the last day at the place at which the carrier envelopes are deposited.

Multiple Carrier Envelopes

If you receive more than one carrier envelope inside another envelope such as “express mail” or “federal express envelope,” the carrier envelopes may be qualified and counted if the voters are registered to vote at the same address. If the carrier envelopes are from FPCA voters who are not permanently registered but do show the same permanent residence address, as indicated on the FPCA, they can be qualified and will be counted if they meet all other criteria.