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Harris County clerk requests governor extend deadline to receive mail-in ballots to after Election Day

The delay request aims “to alleviate Harris County residents' fears after recent news coverage detailing expected delays" in mail service.

HOUSTON — Harris County Clerk Chris Hollins says his office has sent a formal request to Texas Governor Greg Abbott to extend the deadline that county officials can receive mail ballots.

Currently, the deadline for most mail ballots is 7 p.m. on Election Day or, if postmarked by Election Day, the day after by 5 p.m.

The county clerk wants to extend that deadline to at least Monday, Nov. 9, which Hollins says is the same deadline in Texas for military voters.

Hollins says the delay request aims “to alleviate Harris County residents' fears after recent news coverage detailing expected delays from the United States Postal Service.”

“This November, we are predicting record voter turnout, and my office is receiving thousands of vote-by-mail applications,” stated Hollins. “As the situation stands now, a mail ballot postmarked on Election Day is unlikely to be received in our office the following day. We know that voting by mail is the safest way to vote ––I hope that the Governor accepts this request to avoid disenfranchising thousands of Harris County voters due to mail delays beyond our control.”

You can read the county clerk's full letter to the governor here.

Harris County Clerk advises mail-in voters to start applying now

We’ve got more than two months until you can vote in the November election, but if you’re doing it by mail, Harris County Clerk Chris Hollins says you can start your civic duty today. “With delays that are due to COVID, we want you to get your applications to vote by mail and your mail ballots in as soon as possible. Don’t wait for deadlines," Hollins said on Aug. 14. Read more here.

Postmaster general won't restore previous USPS cuts

(AP) — The Postal Service faced more questions and a federal lawsuit Wednesday over mail disruptions, despite assurances by President Donald Trump's postmaster general of no more service changes until after the November election — a pledge made only after a public outcry. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Postmaster General Louis DeJoy told her he has no intention of restoring removed blue mailboxes or sorting equipment and no plans for employee overtime. Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said officials are withholding information about DeJoy's selection to the job. With the agency in turmoil, civil and voting rights advocates are suing to bring mail operations back to normal. Read the full AP story here.