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McLennan, Brazos County officials say mail-in ballots will be slightly delayed due to last minute change

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Posted at 5:52 PM, Sep 17, 2020

The Texas Supreme Court has added three, last minute, Green Party candidates, two of which are affecting election ballots for Central Texas and the Brazos Valley.

Mail-in ballots were already in the process of being sent out to voters this week when the additions were made.

“We had actually stuffed the envelopes and actually put postage on the envelopes, and the envelopes were in the car ready to go to the post office when we got notification,” said Kathy Van Wolfe, McLennan County Elections Administrator.

That means they have to recount, retest and reprint thousands of ballots for the November election. The deadline for some of those ballots to be sent out was this weekend.

“We were ready to start sending out ballots this week. Military and overseas voters, their ballots are due out by Saturday,” said Trudy Hancock, Brazos County Elections Administrator.

The two additions are a Green Party candidate for the U.S Senate, David Collins and Katija “Kat” Greene for Railroad Commission.

Changes like this happen, but it’s something not usually planned for. Now it’s all hands on deck to get mail-in ballots out on time.

“In 2016 we saw about 5,000 ballots by mail, so we're already ahead of that and we have applications coming in daily,” Van Wolfe said.

Luckily, there is only about a week delay for both county ballots. Officials say you will be getting your ballot on time to vote and send it back in.

“That still gives our voters at least a month to give those ballots back,” Hancock said.

25 News also reached out to Bell County officials. They said no changes were needed for their mail-in system.

“We have not had to recall any ballots due to the Green Party candidates being added. Our Election Day ballots are blank since we use the Express Vote ballot system, and the printed ballots for overseas voters will go out this Saturday and we print those on demand here at the office,” said Matthew Dutton, Interim Elections Administrator.

Governor Greg Abbott has also passed a proclamation stating those who have mail-in ballots can visit a polling location to turn in your ballot on Election Day and your vote will still be counted.