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

There's a lot of uncertainty around USPS funding right now, which Chris Hollins says is even more reason why mail-in voters should apply as soon as possible.

HOUSTON — 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. 

Hollins said he is concerned about what’s happening with the postal service and calls the possibility of defunding it a shame.

“That’s totally unacceptable. And we shouldn’t be disenfranchising the people of Texas, the people of Harris County for the purpose of guaranteeing wins or losses in particular races," Hollins said. 

CBS News has learned the postal service has been sending out letters to some state governments, warning voters that mail-in ballots may not be delivered in time to be counted because their deadlines are too tight.

Which is even more reason to start today. 

“As soon as you can apply, which is today, you should apply, and as soon as you get that mail-in ballot, you should complete and get it back to our office," Hollins said. 

And while there have been claims of voter fraud through mail-in ballots, Hollins said there’s no evidence to support them. 

“There are states on both sides of the aisle, red states and blue states, that complete their elections 100 percent by mail, and they haven’t had any allegations of this sort of fraud so this is not something we should be worried about," Hollins said. 

He said they are anticipating a record turnout, for both mail-in ballots and in-person voting.

If you would like to vote by mail, you have to apply online and qualify for one of these four categories: 

  • Be 65 years old or older
  • Be out of the county during the election
  • Be in jail
  • Have a disability

But Hollins said disability can also mean being at risk for COVID-19. 

“You are the sole determinant of your health status. You make that judgment, and my office is not qualified and does not have the ability or the will to question your judgment," Hollins said.