Planning to vote in this year's primary election?
If so, you might have a few questions.
Here's a look at some of what you need to know when you head to the polls.
When is the election? March 6
Who is on the ballot? There's no presidential candidate at the top of this year's ballot, but this is a midterm election so legislative and congressional posts — including the race for U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz's seat — are on the ballot. There also are several statewide posts up for election, including governor, lieutenant governor, land commissioner, attorney general and comptroller. There are statewide and local judicial posts as well as county posts ranging from tax assessor-collector to district clerk. To see a sample ballot before you vote, visit access.tarrantcounty.com/en/elections.html.
I like candidates in both parties. Can I vote in both primaries? No. While Texas' primaries are open to any registered voter, you must pick one. But if you don’t vote at all March 6, you may vote in either party’s runoff, if needed, on May 22.
Can I vote early? Yes. Early voting runs through March 2 and registered voters may vote at any early voting site in their home county. A list of those sites can be found online at the Tarrant County Elections website, access.tarrantcounty.com/en/elections.html.
How do I know if I'm registered to vote? If you haven't received a voter registration card in the mail, you can check online at the Tarrant County Elections website to see if you are registered or on the Texas Secretary of State's website, www.votetexas.gov.
Who can vote? A Texas voter must be a U.S. citizen, at least 18 by Election Day, mentally sound and not a convicted felon unless the sentence has been completed, including parole or probation. For new residents in the state, there’s no requirement stipulating how long someone must live here before registering to vote.
What should I bring to the polls? Bring your voter registration card and a photo ID. The seven state-approved photo IDs: Texas driver’s license, Texas Election Identification Certificate, Texas personal identification card, Texas license to carry a concealed handgun, U.S. military ID card with photo, U.S. citizenship certificate with photo, and U.S. passport. Anyone who doesn’t have one of those IDs, and can’t get one before voting, may show another form of identification and fill out a “reasonable impediment declaration.”
How do I get more information about the elections? Local voters may call the Tarrant County Elections Office at 817-831-8683. Voters statewide may call the Secretary of State’s Office at 1-800-252-VOTE.
Key election dates:
March 2 — The last day of early voting
March 6 — Primary election
April 23-May 1 — Early voting for the local May 5 election
May 5 — Local election
May 14-18 — Early voting for primary runoff
May 22 — Primary runoff election
June 14-16 — Republican Party of Texas state convention in San Antonio
June 21-23 — Texas Democratic Party state convention in Fort Worth
Anna Tinsley: 817-390-7610, @annatinsley