Elections

Texans: Planning to vote early? You can, starting Oct. 22. Here’s what you need to know

It’s your turn.

For months — and in some cases more than a year — candidates have been talking about why they should be elected to office.

Now you get to make your voice heard, and cast a vote for who you want to serve in offices ranging from the U.S. Senate to the Texas Capitol to the local courthouse.

Early voting for the Nov. 6 mid-term election starts Monday and runs through Nov. 2.

“I strongly encourage people to vote early,” said Heider Garcia, Tarrant County’s elections administrator. “Do it if you have a chance. With this weather, it has been raining more than usual and flooding. That can make it difficult to move around the city.

“Vote early. It’s open on the weekend and you can go anywhere for early voting,” he said. “This way, you can make sure there are no last minute surprises or happenings that stop them from voting.”

The election comes as a record number of people are registered to vote — more than 15.7 million Texans, including more than 1.1 million in Tarrant County.

Anyone who wants to vote early can head to any early voting site, show a photo ID and weigh in on dozens of races on this year’s mid-term ballot.

In 2014, the most recent midterm election, 1.7 million Texans in the state’s 15 largest counties cast early votes, state records show.

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 someone must live here before registering to vote.

Sample Tarrant County ballots

Election officials suggest voters read over sample ballots that are available online at the Tarrant County elections website before heading to the polls.

They note that this is the last year Texans will be able to cast a straight party vote. In 2020, voters will have to weigh in on each race individually, under a law state lawmakers passed last year.

Garcia reminds voters that even if they do vote a straight ticket this year, they still need to look for the bonds and propositions at the end of the ballot to weigh in on them as well.

And he stresses that Texans need to bring a photo ID to the polls with them.

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 early voting sites, or questions about early voting, contact the Tarrant County Elections Center at 817-831-8683.

Early voting sites

Early voting for the Nov. 6 general election starts Monday and runs through Nov. 2: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Friday; 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday; 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday; 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Oct. 29-Nov. 2.

Locations

Tarrant County Elections Center, 2700 Premier St., Fort Worth. This is the main early voting site. Emergency and limited ballots are available there.

All Saints Catholic Church Parish Hall, 200 N.W. 20th St., Fort Worth

Arlington Subcourthouse, 700 E. Abram St.

Asia Times Square, 2615 W. Pioneer Parkway, Grand Prairie

Bedford Public Library, 2424 Forest Ridge Drive

Benbrook Community Center, 228 San Angelo Ave.

B.J. Clark Annex, Room 4, 603 Southeast Parkway, Azle

Bob Duncan Center, 2800 S. Center St., Arlington

Center for Community Service Junior League of Arlington, 4002 W. Pioneer Parkway, Arlington

Colleyville City Hall, 100 Main St.

Crowley Recreation Center, 405 S. Oak St.

Dan Echols Center, 6801 Glenview Dr., North Richland Hills

Diamond Hill-Jarvis Library, 1300 NE 35th St., Fort Worth

Eagle Mountain-Saginaw school district Administration Building 6, Training Room, 1200 Old Decatur Road, Saginaw

East Pointe Church of Christ, 3029 Handley Dr., Fort Worth

Euless Public Library, 201 N. Ector Drive

Elzie Odom Athletic Center, 1601 NE Green Oaks Blvd., Arlington

Forest Hill Civic and Convention Center, 6901 Wichita St., Forest Hill

The REC of Grapevine, 1175 Municipal Way

Griffin Subcourthouse, 3212 Miller Ave., Fort Worth

Haltom City Northeast Center, 3201 Friendly Lane

Hurst Recreation Center, 700 Mary Dr.

JPS Health Center Viola M. Pitts/Como, Lower Level, Suite 100, 4701 Bryant Irvin Road N.

Keller Town Hall, 1100 Bear Creek Parkway

Kennedale Community Center, 316 W. Third St.

Longhorn Activity Center, 5350 Basswood Blvd., Fort Worth

Mansfield Subcourthouse, 1100 E. Broad St.

Northeast Courthouse, 645 Grapevine Highway, Hurst

Rosemont Middle School, 1501 W. Seminary Dr., Fort Worth

Sheriff’s Office North Patrol Division, 6651 Lake Worth Blvd., Lake Worth

Southlake Town Hall, 1400 Main St.

South Service Center, 1100 SW Green Oaks Blvd., Arlington

Southside Community Center, 959 E. Rosedale St., Fort Worth

Southwest Community Center, 6300 Welch Ave.

Southwest Regional Library, 4001 Library Lane, Fort Worth

Southwest Subcourthouse, 6551 Granbury Road, Fort Worth

Tarrant County College Southeast Campus, EMB- C Portable Building, 2100 Southeast Parkway, Arlington

Tarrant County Plaza Building, 201 Burnett St.

Villages of Woodland Springs Amenity Center, 12209 Timberland Blvd., Fort Worth

White Settlement Public Library, 8215 White Settlement Road

Worth Heights Community Center, 3551 New York Ave., Fort Worth

Temporary sites

Several temporary early voting sites have special days and hours. They are:

8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday: Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Naylor Student Center, 1900 W. Boyce Ave.; Texas Wesleyan University, Baker Building, 3021 E. Rosedale St.; UNT Health Science Center, MET 2nd Floor Mezzanine, 1000 Montgomery St.

7 a.m.-7 p.m. Oct. 30-Nov. 1: Tarrant County College Northeast Campus, Student Center NSTU 1506, 828 Harwood Road, Hurst; Northwest Campus, WSTU 1305, 4801 Marine Creek Parkway, Fort Worth; South Campus, Student Center SSTU 1112, 5301 Campus Drive, Fort Worth.

7 a.m.-7 p.m. Oct. 29-Nov. 1: UTA, Maverick Activities Center, 500 W. Nedderman Drive, Arlington; TCU, Brown-Lupton University Union, 2901 Stadium Drive.

Anna Tinsley: 817-390-7610, @annatinsley
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