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Seal of the Senate of the State of Texas
Welcome to the official website for the
Texas Senate
Senator Paul Bettencourt: District 7
Press Release
August 28, 2020
Contact: Robert Flanagan
(713) 464-0282
Texas Secretary of State Tells Clerk Hollins to Halt Plans to Mail Absentee Ballot Apps to 2+ Million Voters
Establishes a deadline of noon on August 31 or will request action by Texas Attorney General
Senator Bettencourt previously requested a review of these plans by state authorities

Houston, TX – Keith Ingram, Director of Elections with the Texas Secretary of State’s office, has sent a letter to Harris County Clerk Hollins (D-Harris County) asking for “an immediate halt to any plan to send an application for ballot by mail to all registered voters and announce its retraction.” There are roughly 2.37 million registered voters in Harris County.

The attached letter notes that such action is “contrary to our office’s guidance on this issue and an abuse of voters rights under Texas Election Code Section 31.005.”

Additionally, the letter highlights that this action by Harris County Clerk Hollins (D-Harris County) could:

  1. Cause voters to provide false information on the form
  2. Confuse voters about their ability to vote by mail
  3. Impede the ability of persons who need to vote by mail…clogging up the vote by mail infrastructure with potentially millions of applications from persons who do not qualify to vote by mail

“As I said this week, this overreach by Clerk Hollins and the 3-2 majority on Commissioner’s Court, massively raising their election budget, actually opens the door to vote harvesters and potential fraud in my opinion,” said Senator Bettencourt. “I simply requested a review of this plan as I was concerned that this mailing was outside the Texas Election Code. This letter from the Secretary of State confirms that.”

Senator Bettencourt previously spoke out about this issue (see more: & and is available for comment on this important election issue.