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Rice University survey says confusion still remains with mail-in ballots

Tuesday was the first day of early voting in Texas and people were showing up to the polls in droves.

HOUSTON — Tuesday was the first day of early voting in Texas, and voters showed in droves. But what about those mail ballots? A survey done by Rice University found that voters here in Harris County are still confused about them.

Bob Stein along with other professors at Rice University recently conducted a survey with Harris County voters. In the last few months, they polled more than 4,000 voters via email.

The main concern was COVID-19 impacting their voting methods? They found an increase in the number of people wanting to send in mail ballots. However, the problem is voters are still confused how this works.

"As many as 2/3 of voters did not know the proper ways to acquire a mail in ballot. And over 53% did not know the proper ways to return a mail in ballot," Stein said.

RELATED: Harris County shatters record for turnout on first day of early voting

And because of this confusion researchers tell us many people might just cast their vote at a polling location.

"Are now moving to in-person early voting because they are confused and concerned the postal service might not get their ballot back. That they cannot return mail in ballot to multiple locations," Stein said.

Rice University researchers are expecting high election turnout in Harris County, with a majority of voters heading to the polls during early voting, more ballots cast by mail and a significant decline in the number of voters going to the polls on Election Day.

The survey also found that voters were happy with PPE equipment provided to poll workers, the spacing at locations, drive through methods and even the voting glove.

But regardless of the COVID threat, researchers tell us Democrats and Republicans in Harris County are determined to cast their vote.

"No difference everyone is voting in this election I think it will be the highest turnout in this election we have seen in this century," Stein said.

If you've signed up to vote by mail and are still confused on how this process works. You can check out the link bellows from the county clerk's office and the League of Women's Voters that can walk you through the process.

Election Day polls are open from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Election Day FAQ Important Election Day Note: Similar to Early Voting, Harris County registered voters can vote at any Election Day polling location.