GATESVILLE — Coryell County commissioners on Tuesday agreed to join with 50 other Texas counties to make it easier for more than 15,500 military and overseas voters to cast absentee ballots.
At the request of Tax Assessor/Collector Justin Carothers, the commissioners unanimously approved an agreement with Rockwall County to join a consortium of counties participating in the federally-funded “Your Texas – Your Vote” program.
Rockwall County leads the consortium that has been approved for the federal grant under the Federal Voting Assistance Program.
The program aims to ease the process by which military and overseas voters receive their ballots by providing a Web-based, on-demand ballot delivery system.
There would be no cost to the county for five years of the grant, he said, and the county’s obligation to provide voter data to Rockwall County “is not an issue because we already collect the data.” The county currently emails ballots overseas if requested, Carothers said. “It is a challenge because we have 47 different ballot styles” based on the assortment of political entities and jurisdictions that are not common to all county voters.
Federal law requires that states meet a 45-day round trip for each ballot to be returned by regular mail. Military and overseas voters may request a ballot by mail, email or fax. If Congress blocks the funding, Carothers said, the program would be canceled.
“We are not obligating any money,” he said, “and if the funding is not available, the contract will be null and void.”