When you are dealing with the State of Texas and its bureaucracy, sometimes you just have to scratch your head and move on.  That’s what I was faced with last week when trying to turn in an application for my mother to receive an election ballot by mail.  Anyone age 65 or older may request a voting ballot to complete and return by mail.  You just fill out the application and return it to the County Clerk’s office by the deadline, which was last Friday, February 21st.  Since it was already Thursday, I figured it would be safer to just drop the application off at the courthouse than rely on the Post Office to deliver it within 24 hours.  However, the County Clerk’s office refused to accept the application, saying that it had to be mailed to them.  That seemed rather ridiculous, so I questioned why it had to be mailed.  I was told that once early voting had started, they could only accept applications by mail.  The thinking was that if you could deliver an application to the County Clerk’s office, you could walk across the street and vote.  Apparently whoever wrote this law failed to consider someone younger delivering the application for their elderly relative.  I was told to put it in the mail, and “hopefully” it will arrive by the deadline the next day.  Amazingly, the application was delivered the next day and my mother will be able to vote by mail.

There are many people in Washington County who would like to vote, but may be unable to physically visit the ballot place either in advance or on Election Day.  If you know someone like that who didn’t get a “mail in” ballot, the County Clerk’s office offers curbside voting outside the Courthouse Annex on Park Street.  Everyone has through this Friday to vote early at that location.  There are quite a few local positions being contested, along with important statewide offices.  I encourage you to take the time to vote.  It’s an important right that should not be taken lightly.  Decisions affecting your life are made every day by those we elect.

And that’s the way it looks to this Spectator.

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