Want to vote in the Texas primary? Here’s how to register before the upcoming deadline

There’s still a few days left to get ready to vote in the March 6 primary election.

If you haven’t registered to vote yet, there’s still time — until the close of business on Monday.

“If you want your voice to be heard, you have to be prepared,” Texas Secretary of State Rolando Pablos said. “It is imperative that all Texans wishing to cast a vote start early and undertake the necessary preparations to be able to vote.

“I commend all Texans who take responsibility for their civic duty by exercising their right to vote.”

On March 6, Texans will be the first voters in the country to head to the polls. There, they’ll choose candidates for races stretching from Congress to the state Legislature to justice of the peace.

At the top of the ballot will be the U.S. Senate race, where incumbent Ted Cruz faces a handful of Republican challengers in his re-election bid. U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke and three other Democrats are vying for their party’s nomination so they can make it to the general election in November.

After that, there are races for the U.S. House, the governor’s office, Texas House and Senate and local races including countywide posts and a slew of judicial positions.

Extra time

Local election office doors will stay open an hour later than normal — from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday — for anyone trying to beat the deadline and register to vote, said Kenisha King, assistant voter registration manager in Tarrant County.

“Usually the last week before the deadline, the number of voter applications picks up,” King said. “And the number of people (turning in voter registration forms ) at the counter picks up too.”

Statewide, more than 15.2 million Texans — including nearly 1.1 million people in Tarrant County — are registered to vote, election records show.

To register to vote in Texas, a person 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 you must live here before registering to vote.

Are you registered?

Voter registration applications are available online; at the Tarrant County Elections Administration, 2700 Premier St.; and at subcourthouses, city halls, libraries and post offices.

They must be dropped off at the election office Monday or clearly postmarked by Feb. 5.

You may have already received your new yellow registration card in the mail. If so, you are good to go.

Those who haven’t received their card, and aren’t sure if they are registered to vote, can check their status online at teamrv-mvp.sos.texas.gov/MVP/mvp.do. Voters may also check their registration status at the local elections office, 817-831-8683.

If you are going to be out of town during early voting and on Election Day — or if you are at least 65 or disabled — you may ask for a mail-in ballot through Feb. 23.

Applications for mail-in ballots may be downloaded from the Texas Secretary of State’s website and returned to county election officials by fax, mail or email.

Early voting runs from Feb. 20-March 2.

Anna Tinsley: 817-390-7610, @annatinsley

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