Mail-in ballots have been returned to their senders instead of being delivered to the Bastrop County Elections Department after an error at the post office.
According to a letter by Kristin Miles, Bastrop County elections administrator, the elections department was made aware on June 11 that a few voted mail ballots were returned to the voter. The local post office was contacted and indicated that the misdirected pieces of mail had been processed either upside down or backwards by their automated mail-handling devices, leading to the return address being read as the delivery address. The United States Postal Service told the Bastrop County Elections Department that post office employees would receive additional training to make sure this problem did not continue. The chairs of the Bastrop County Republican and Democratic parties were also notified of the issue.
After the elections department stopped receiving as many calls from voters, they thought the problem had been corrected. However, on Thursday, they found out that some voted ballots were still being returned to voters. They notified the post office about the problem again and will change the placement of address labels to try and prevent future issues, the letter said.
Those voting by mail who have received their ballots back are asked to place it back in the mail or contact the Bastrop County Elections Department for other options to return their ballot. The department also invites those with questions or concerns or voters who would like to confirm that their ballot has been received to call them at 512-581-7160.
Where and when to vote
The Democratic and Republican primary runoff elections, as well as a special election for Texas Senate District 14 to replace resigning Senator Kirk Watson, were postponed to July 14 by Texas Governor Greg Abbott due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Early voting is available this Monday to Thursday, and Monday through Friday next week. All four early-voting polling locations will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. this week and from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. next week.
Bastrop County voters can cast their ballots at any of the following poll locations during early voting: the Bastrop County Courthouse annex in Bastrop, Smithville City Hall, Cedar Creek United Methodist Church or the Elgin Public Library.
To find your Election Day polling location, visit www.bastropvotes.org. Voting is open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on July 14. Sample ballots for each precinct in the county with races can also be found at this website.