Read the letter we sent to the Texas Secretary of State:
Dear Keith, Christina, and Kristi,
Our team is still eager to talk to you by phone to discuss the planning for the May 2 and May 26 elections, as I emailed you about last week. However, since COVID-19 contingency planning should be moving quickly, we wanted to put our thoughts and suggested course of action on the table as soon as possible.
Under the current and projected conditions involving COVID-19, it does not seem viable for Texas to hold meaningful elections in May in which all eligible voters can participate if those elections involve polling place-based voting. Many of the facilities typically used for polling places are closing down and the majority of our election workers are older adults who have now been advised by the CDC to remain at home in order to avoid exposure to COVID-19.
We should develop contingency plans now that allow the May 2 and May 26 elections to be held entirely by mail to avoid the risks of spreading COVID-19 at polling places and to avoid the many logistical barriers that we are likely to face as this crisis intensifies, polling places close, and our normal pool of poll workers practice social distancing and seclusion. Simply reducing the number of polling places is not a viable option, as that will present insurmountable barriers for many voters to be able to cast their ballots. An all-mail election in which county election officials mail a ballot to every registered voter is the only realistic option that ensures meaningful participation in the elections while also protecting public health. Fortunately, the basic infrastructure to implement wide scale, mail-in voting already exists.
We have already seen other states like Georgia and Louisiana postpone their presidential primary elections, originally scheduled for March 24 and April 4, respectively. Since we have six weeks until our next election, we have the opportunity to develop contingency plans rather than resorting to such drastic measures.
As part of the emergency declarations the Governor issues, he should immediately order that the May 2 and May 26 elections be held entirely by mail. In order for elections offices to obtain the supplies and otherwise manage the logistics of mailing ballots to every eligible voter for the May elections (the first of which are only six weeks away), we must act quickly.
We appreciate you reviewing this recommendation, and we look forward to further discussing it with your team or whomever in the Executive you believe best to take up this conversation.
Chair, Texas Democratic Party