Tell Your Patients: There Are Safe Ways to Vote in July’s Elections
By David Doolittle

Voter_registration

In case you forgot – and there’s certainly been a good reason why you might have – Texas was originally scheduled to hold runoff elections from March’s First Tuesday primary in late May.

Well, like many things over the past few months, that election was put on hold because of the COVID-19 pandemic – rescheduled to July 14.

A quick glance at the calendar will tell you that date is coming up, so some of your patients might be asking if it’s safe for them to vote – particularly seniors and people with disabilities, who are most at risk for serious illness if they catch COVID-19.

The Texas Medical Association certainly encourages all eligible Texans to vote, and four TMA leaders have published a statement that offers advice on what you should tell patients who might be concerned about going to the polls.

Here are a few highlights:

  • “If you will be 65 years or older on Election Day or have a disability, you can vote early by mail in a Texas election under current state law.”
  • “It’s a two-step process. You have to apply for a mail-in ballot on time, and you have to turn it in on time. Your application must be received by the early voting clerk in your county by Thursday, July 2. Your completed ballot must be received by your county election office by Tuesday, July 14.”
  • “If you decide you want to vote in person during early voting (June 29 to July 10) or on Election Day, Texas Secretary of State Ruth R. Hughs has issued ‘Health Safety Check Lists’ for voters, poll workers, and election sites.”

For all the specifics, see the Texas Secretary of State’s webpage on voting by mail.

By the way, nearly every one of the 132 legislative candidates endorsed by TEXPAC, TMA’s bipartisan political action committee, won their party’s nomination in the March 3 primary. Another five will be on the runoff ballot July 14. Only two lost outright.

The deadline to register to vote in time for the July 14 primary is this coming Monday, June 15. Find more information about Texas elections on the Secretary of State’s website.

Last Updated On

June 12, 2020

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David Doolittle

Editor

(512) 370-1385

Dave Doolittle is editor of Texas Medicine and Texas Medicine Today. Dave grew up in Austin, where he attended culinary school as well as the University of Texas. He spent years covering Central Texas for the Austin American-Statesman newspaper. He is the father of two girls, a proud Longhorn, and an avid motorsports fan.

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