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Elections administrator explains mail-in ballot issues

More than 2,200 mail-in ballots have been returned so far. In 2016 for the entire election cycle, 1,500 were returned in Webb County.
Published: Oct. 20, 2020 at 10:55 PM CDT
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LAREDO, Tex. (KGNS) - People are showing up to vote and making sure their voices are heard.

More than 21,000 people have voted early in person in just the first week this year in Webb County. That’s compared to 36,000 for all of early voting last year.

“If I compare every day that we’ve had early voting here in person, it’s been higher than what took place during the 2016 general election," said Jose Salvador Tellez, Webb County Elections Administrator.

The same is true for returned mail-in ballots. More than 2,200 have been returned so far. In 2016 for the entire election cycle, 1,500 were returned.

However, some say they’re experiencing issues.

“Some of the complaints that I’ve received are people complaining that allegedly they received the wrong ballot. We have not been able to verify if that’s true or not.”

As well as misconceptions about what district voters are in.

“In one case, this particular person didn’t find the race on her ballot. But when I looked into it, she was not registered in the district that she wanted to vote in. She was registered in another district. That person got the right ballot, except she didn’t change her address.”

Not knowing about sufficient postage is another issue.

“There are some people not too happy with the fact that part of our instructions with the mail-in ballot is that you have to put your own postage on there.”

At least three stamps are required.

Some also questioned why there were initials on their ballot. Tellez says elections administrators are required to initial every ballot used in early voting.

To avoid any confusion, he encourages voters to do their research in advance.

“Get a sample ballot. Review the ballot ahead of time, mark who you want to vote for.”

One concerned voter called the KGNS newsroom on Tuesday to let us know that his mail-in ballot had duplicate pages of the candidates and no pages of the propositions.

He also says he’s handicapped so exchanging it for a new one in person is not an option.

We asked Tellez if he’s seen this problem, but he says he hasn’t, although it is possible to have a misprint.

You can request a mail-in ballot up until Friday, October 23rd if you meet the state’s criteria of:

- going to be away from your county on Election Day and during early voting

- sick or disabled

- 65 years of age or older on Election Day

- or confined in jail, but eligible to vote.

Allowing at least eight to nine days to mail it back is recommended.

You can find early voting locations by clicking here and a sample ballot here.

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