HB 658 Provisions for Voting at
Residential Care Facilities
For the November 7th, 2017 Constitutional
Amendment & Joint Election
The Texas Legislature recently approved a new method of ballot by mail that is valid only for the November 7th Election. House Bill 658 (“HB-658”) provides an alternative voting process for those voters who reside at a Residential Care Facility (an “RCF”). Rather than Dallas County’s Early Voting Clerk (the Elections Department) mailing balloting material to voters who apply to vote by mail, official election judges will: 1) hand-deliver the balloting materials to the voter on a scheduled day; 2) accept the sealed and signed carrier envelope (containing the voted ballot, inside the ballot envelope) back from the voter; and 3) deliver the carrier envelope to the EV clerk-Elections Department. To participate, a registered voter living at a qualifying RCF must first apply for an absentee Ballot by Mail at: www.dallascountyvotes.org/absentee-voting. For more details regarding voting at a qualifying RCF and what the process is, more information can be found at: https://www.dallascountyvotes.org/residential-care-facilities-legislation-update/. The Texas Secretary of State has published Election Advisory No. 2017-12 that details the information and process for this method of voting: http://www.sos.state.tx.us/elections/laws/advisory2017-12.shtml.
Below are important points and provisions regarding the Residential Care Facilities (RCF) program
- Dallas County Election Department will start making visits to RCFs on Monday October 16, 2017.
- HB-658 voting at RCF is a state law and is a ballot delivery system by the Dallas County Election Department.
- The Early Voting Clerk will arrange for the ballots and balloting material to be delivered to a RCF with more than 10 beds and 5 applications to vote by mail.
- The applicants and registered voters may vote the ballots and return to the RCF judges which will return the ballots to the Dallas County Early Voting Department.
- If the voter has already mailed an application for ballot by mail to the early voting clerk, this ballot will be delivered to the RCF — pre-applicants.
- If a registered voter at the RCF address wishes to vote they may complete an application for ballot by mail and vote that day — on-site voter.
- The RCF judges will supply ballots, ballot materials, and supplies to assist with applications as needed for the RCF voters.
- If a pre-applicant voter is not going to be present at the designated date and time the voter may complete and return a “delivery of balloting materials to a temporary location” form to the RCF administer.
- If a voter cannot come to the voting station at the RCF, the RCF judges will deliver the ballot to the voters’ room upon request.
- If a family member wants to be present when the RCF judges are present they must notify the RCF administrator in writing who will inform the RCF judges.