Voting Absentee in the Midterms: FL, SD, and TX

Voting in Texas, Florida and South Dakota

Across the country, voting in the general election will take place on November 6, 2018. For those of you domiciled in Florida, South Dakota and Texas, here are the highlights on how to vote in this election.

Voting Absentee in Sumter County, Florida

Registering to Vote

In Florida, if you have an address in Sumter County, Florida and have established your domicile there, you need to register to vote 29 days before the general election or by October 9, 2018.

Once you have registered, you can easily review the voting options available to you at: https://dos.myflorida.com/elections/for-voters/voting/absentee-voting/.

Early Voting

Early voting in Florida occurs between Oct. 18 -31, 2018.

Voting by Mail

If you are voting by mail, they have a simple online or manual system:

You can request an online application through the link above, or in writing to the Sumter County Supervisor of Elections, or in person, or by telephone. 

The deadline to request a vote-by-mail is no later than 5 pm on October 31, 2018.
And you must send in the ballot so that it arrives before 7pm November 6, 2018.

Voting Absentee in Pennington County, South Dakota

Registering to Vote

In South Dakota, you must register 15 days before the election or by October 22, 2018. 

Early Voting

You can vote absentee as early as 46 days before the election or as early as Sept. 20, 2018.

Voting by Mail

Any registered South Dakota voter can vote absentee with no reason given up to 46 days before the election.  If you have not already done so for the primaries, then you need to complete and submit an absentee ballot application to the county where you are registered to vote. The link sets it all out: https://www.pennco.org/vote/.

The deadline to request and vote absentee is 5pm the day before the election, or November 5, 2018

Voting Absentee in Polk County, Texas

Registering to Vote

In Polk County, Texas you must register to vote at least 30 days before the election, or by October 9, 2018.

In Texas, voting absentee is a bit more complicated than in Florida and South Dakota.

Even if you have already filed to vote absentee in the primary and run-off elections held earlier this year, you must request yet again to vote absentee in the general election unless you are 65 or older and then you only need to request absentee voting annually. 

Early Voting

Early in-person voting is October 22 – Nov. 2, 2018.

You can only vote early by mail (they do not call it absentee voting in Texas) if:

 (1) you will be away from your county on election day and during the hours that early voting is conducted; or

(2) you are sick or disabled; or 

(3) you are 65 years of age or older on election day; or

(4) you are confined in jail.

Voting by Mail

The link for the application by mail is:

The last day to register to vote, to be eligible for the November 6 general election is October 9, 2018. When you apply for a ballot by mail, you must request an application.

Applications for voting by mail will be accepted through October 26, 2018 (received, not postmarked).

Once your application is received by the Country Clerk, a ballot will then be mailed to you.
The ballot must be mailed to an address outside of Polk County unless you are 65 or older or disabled (no proof necessary); however, you must indicate your reason for applying for an absentee ballot, e.g. disabled, away traveling, etc.

Escapees Mail Service members who will be traveling outside of Polk County may have their ballots sent to the following address for a a $5.00-per-ballot fee charged to their postage account to help defray the costs for this service.

Your Name
c/o Escapees RV Club
PO Box 1578
Shepherd, TX 77351

This box is for Escapees members who will be away traveling and do not have a secure temporary mailing address that they are comfortable using. Escapees Mail Service agents will forward these ballots on to you, but it is important to recognize that this can cause an additional time delay. It is always best to have your applications and ballots sent directly to you if at all possible.

Escapees is always looking out for the rights of all RVers.

Read more about the issues Escapees has fought for so you can life the life you want on the road.

Speights v. Willis

In 2002, Escapees, Inc. was involved in a lawsuit in Polk County, Texas, with Speights v. Willis, No.09-02-192 CV (App. Ct. – Beaumont, October 24, 2002). The court determined in that lawsuit that members of Escapees RV Club who had created a domicile in Polk County, Texas, could vote in that county. This is one of the many reasons “establishing a domicile” is so important, especially for full-time RVers. If you are concerned about whether you have an established domicile, this case is helpful.

Rights at Risk

Your voting rights are currently at risk, so protect your right to vote by voting. The Supreme Court is now considering an Ohio law that purges the voting rolls of those who haven’t voted in a two-year period. Is it Constitutional to purge the rolls of those who fail to vote? The Supreme Court appears says yes.

I hope it will be a reminder that voting is a right and a privilege that should be exercised.

The law offices of Loring & Associates specializes in domicile-related questions and we are willing to offer assistance.

K. Susie Adams


K. Susie Adams SKP #134068

K. Susie Adams has been a lawyer for over 30 years, spending 15 of those years working as a trial lawyer. She also taught legal writing at the University of Houston Law School. From 2011–2016, she was executive director of Childrenz Haven, the Child Advocacy Center of Polk County, Texas. Susie and her husband, James Frost, reside in Livingston, Texas.

One Response to “Voting Absentee in the Midterms: FL, SD, and TX

  • Thanks for the info about voting by absentee ballot. I mailed my application to vote by absentee ballot on Sept 25,2018. I am a resident of Box Elder, Pennington County S.D. I use Americas Mailbox as my mailing service. Do you know when my absentee ballot will be mailed to me at Americas Mailbox. Thanks.

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