Mail-in ballots arriving at Nacogdoches Co. election office

Mail-in ballot applications are arriving in mailboxes. When returned ballots for March elections are sent back. (Source: KTRE Staff)
Mail-in ballot applications are arriving in mailboxes. When returned ballots for March elections are sent back. (Source: KTRE Staff)
Qualified voters are prompt in returning the mail-in ballots. Registered voters over 65 or disabled are eligible to receive a mail-in ballot application. (Source: KTRE Staff)
Qualified voters are prompt in returning the mail-in ballots. Registered voters over 65 or disabled are eligible to receive a mail-in ballot application. (Source: KTRE Staff)

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Some citizens have already voted in the March elections from the comfort of their homes.
     
In most counties, applications for mail ballots to those over 65 and the disabled have been mailed out. Some voters have already received a ballot.

The convenience is definitely a personal choice.

Nacogdoches County resident Edna Moody applied for a mail-in ballot following a recent move. It's a convenience she doesn't want to lose.

"I've just always had them sent to me in the mail, and I mail it back," Moody said. "And it's just much easier."

Hundreds of thousands of qualified Texas voters use the method, but Texas has yet to join the 22 states in the country that allows mail ballots for all voters. It's not likely to happen anytime soon, but there has been discussion about expanding the privilege.

"Truck drivers who are under the age of 65 or offshore oil rig workers because if you're under 65 and you want to vote by mail you have to provide an address that's outside of the county," said Todd Stalling's, Nacogdoches County's election coordinator.

Until rules change, political parties choose whether or not to spend funds to send out applications to qualified voters.

"We had to have a vote, the precinct chairs, the board had to vote on whether to spend the money or not," said Sue Wenner, the secretary of the Nacogdoches County Democratic Party. It was something to think about."

Voters are reminded that annual application must be submitted, even if you've voted by mail in the past.

"The way it works you have to an application once a year and that will cover all elections for that year," Stallings said.

A lot of voters still like going to the polls. Raymond Rowlett is one.

"I like going to the polls. I get to vote, and I see my friends voting," Rowlett said. "And I always live in life by the 'SIG principle. It's s-i-g. 'Simple-is-good,' and it's simple for me to go and vote."

It's unclear how much savings mail-in ballots would have if all voters in a county would use them. Poll workers wouldn't have to be paid.

There's also the concern of fraud. While rare, it's most common with mail-in ballots.

The deadline for submitting a mail-in ballot is February 24th.

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