Politics & Government

Texans: If you want to vote early in Tuesday’s election, head to the polls Friday

Planning to vote early?

You still can on Friday.

But it’s the last day to cast an early vote in next week’s election.

After that, Election Day on Tuesday is your last chance to vote on city council elections, school bond proposals and 10 requests to amend the Texas Constitution.

By Thursday afternoon, more than 34,000 had cast early votes in Tarrant County, said Heider Garcia, Tarrant County’s election administrator.

The busiest Tarrant polling site for early voters has been at Keller Town Hall. Voters in the Keller school district will decide on a $315 million school bond proposal that includes indoor athletic fields at each of the four high schools.

Arlington also has seen a number of voters. The Center for Community Service Junior League in Arlington was the second busiest early voting site. Voters there are considering on a $965.9 million school bond proposal.

Turnout

More than 542,000 Texans had cast ballots through Wednesday, according to the Secretary of State.

Harris County voters are leading the way, casting more than 101,750 votes, followed by Bexar County voters, who cast 36,372 votes.

Tarrant County voters cast the third most, with 31,430 ballots, and then Travis County voters, with 30,036 votes.

Anyone who wants to vote early can head to any voting site in the county. There, you’ll find new voting equipment.

The new machines have a touchscreen where voters can review the ballot and make their choices. The machine will print a list of the choices made. After you review that sheet, you’ll put it in one of the scanners to cast your vote.

“The overall reaction has been very positive,” Garcia said. “We are off to a good start.”

Need to know

Don’t forget to bring a photo ID to the polls.

The seven state-approved photo IDs: Texas driver’s license, Texas election identification certificate, Texas personal identification card, Texas license to carry a 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 still vote after showing another form of identification and filling out a “reasonable impediment declaration.”

For information about voting, call the Tarrant County Elections Center at 817-831-8683.

Polls will be open Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

If you choose to vote on Election Day, polls also will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

On Election Day, you no longer will be locked in to your traditional polling place.

Tarrant County for the first time will have countywide vote centers, which allow voters cast their ballots at any polling place in the county on Election Day.

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Anna M. Tinsley grew up in a journalism family and has been a reporter for the Star-Telegram since 2001. She has covered the Texas Legislature and politics for more than two decades and has won multiple awards for political reporting, most recently a third place from APME for deadline writing. She is a Baylor University graduate.
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