We've heard enough about attempts to hack election software to put everyone on edge. The old paper ballots could be hacked, too -- the story of Lyndon Johnson stealing a Senate seat is a Texas legend -- but it took some effort.
These days to use a paper ballot in Texas the voter has to vote absentee. And even then not everyone qualifies to do that. Here's what the Texas Secretary of State's office says:
Can anybody vote early by mail (also referred to as “absentee voting”)?
Only specific reasons entitle a registered voter to vote early by mail (no longer called absentee voting). You may request a ballot by mail if you:
-will be away from your county on Election Day and during the hours that early voting is conducted;
-are sick or disabled;
-are 65 years of age or older on Election Day; or
-are confined in jail.
Request an application online here.
Or download the application here.
The voter is asked to use a #2 pencil to mark the ballot. That tells us it will get read into a machine. And that machine will undoubtedly feed it to the same program that collects the votes cast at the machines in the voting booth. So it might be all for naught. But it's worth a try.