What should you do if you get multiple mail-in ballot applications in the mail?

People report receiving multiple applications for mail-in ballots
People report receiving multiple applications for mail-in ballots

Many voters may find themselves getting several mail-in ballot applications from multiple entities in the mail.

KPRC 2 asked Fort Bend County Election Administrator John Oldham what voters should do.

“We normally don’t see so much for the November election, however about three weeks ago the Democratic Party of Texas sent out a mass mailing to voters over 65, whom they targeted as their voters, and last week the Republicans did the same thing, so we’re seeing a lot of duplicates out there,” Oldham said.

Phyllis Bailey said she received multiple in the mail and was concerned that it may confuse voters.

“In mid-September, they will send us our ballots to vote by mail. But yesterday, I received a request-- an application for ballot by mail from the State of Texas from the Center for Voter Information. It’s the same thing. I said, 'Oh boy, people are going to see this and get confused,” Bailey said.

What should you do if you’ve received multiple mail-in ballot applications?

Oldham said voters only need to mail in one ballot application.

“If you have already mailed one in, you don’t need to send one in again,” Oldham said. “Over the last 15 business days, we’ve probably averaged about 1,000 pieces of mail a day for mail-in ballot applications and only about 300-400 of those were new applications, the rest of them were duplicates.”

What if you’ve already mailed in multiple mail-in ballot applications?

If you’ve already mailed in multiple applications, Oldham said there is no harm done. It will just be more work for the elections office, but they are capable of sorting it out.

“It takes just as long to process a duplicate application than it does to process a new one. So, if one person can process 350 a day and 200 of those that are duplicates, they wasted two-thirds of their workday,” Oldham said.

However, he said, he is not worried about fraud and said despite how many applications they receive from one person, each person will only get one ballot.

“It kind of bogs the system down to get those again, but again, we want to make sure they get a ballot if that’s what they want to do,” Oldham said.

Who is eligible for mail-in ballots?

According to the Texas Secretary of State those who qualify to apply for mail-in ballots you must:

  • be 65 years or older;
  • be disabled;
  • 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

What if you’re unsure?

Oldham said the best thing to do for each voter and the election team is to email vote@fortbendcountytx.gov or call the election office or the voters' corresponding elections office to determine whether or not they are eligible or if you’ve already mailed or received an application.

Fort Bend County Election Office Information

Physical Address: 4520 Reading Road, Suite A - 400 Rosenberg, TX 77471

Mailing Address: 301 Jackson St. Richmond, TX 77469

Telephone: 281-341-8670

Fax: 281-341-4418

Email: Vote@fortbendcountytx.gov

Hours: 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Monday to Friday. Closed on county holidays.