Harris County Clerk Launches New Public Service Announcement “Vote Early and Stay Safe”

Style Magazine Newswire | 6/19/2020, 1:21 p.m.

Today, Harris County Clerk Chris Hollins launched a Public Service Announcement (PSA) to remind voters about available options to Vote Early and Stay Safe. The PSA lists the four requirements needed to vote by mail. Apart from being registered to vote, a person must be either:

· 65 years of age or older on Election Day;

· Out of the County during the Early Voting period and on Election Day;

· Confined in jail, but otherwise eligible to vote, or

· Disabled.

A voter qualifies as disabled if they believe that their physical condition is such that in-person voting will cause a likelihood of injury to their health. Pregnant women are automatically covered in the disability category.

The Texas Supreme Court ruled that a lack of immunity to COVID may be considered as a factor in determining whether in-person voting creates a “likelihood of injury” to the voter’s health, but it cannot be the sole factor. It is the responsibility of voters to make their own health determinations, and the County Clerk’s Office does not have the authority or ability to question the voter’s judgment. If a voter applies for a mail ballot and checks one of the four categories of eligibility, the County Clerk’s Office will send you a ballot.

“Our goal is to promote and maximize voting by mail within the bounds of the law and ensure that voters can cast their ballots as easily and safely as possible,” said Harris County Clerk Chris Hollins. “Voting by mail is the safest way to cast your vote, and we encourage all eligible Harris County voters to make their own health assessments to determine if they qualify ahead of the July 2nd deadline to receive applications."

The PSA is available in English, Spanish, Chinese, and Vietnamese. It is part of the Vote Your Way Campaign, which focuses on letting voters know that they have a choice when it comes to when and how to cast a ballot. The PSA was produced by Black Sheep Agency and generously funded by the Houston Endowment. The 15-second spots will run on local radio and TV stations for the next two weeks in advance of the start of the early voting period for the July 14 Primary Runoff Elections.

“For those who want to vote in person, we hope that they take advantage of the ten days of early voting that will be available,” added Hollins. “We will have additional polling locations and extended hours, and we will be taking the necessary precautions to keep voters and election workers safe.”

Here are some dates to remember:

· Monday, June 29 First day of in-person Early Voting

· Thursday, July 2 Last day to apply for a mail ballot for the 2020 Primary Runoff

(County Clerk’s Office must receive the application by this date, regardless of the postmark date)

· Friday, July 10 Last day of in-person Early Voting

· Tuesday, July 14 2020 Primary Runoff Election Day, and last day by which a mail ballot must be

postmarked (County Clerk’s Office must receive the mail ballot by July 15)