Student guide to 2020 Texas elections

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Photo Credit: Cynthia Treviño | Daily Texan Staff

In the 2020 Texas elections, students have the opportunity to vote for representative officials such as judges, senators and the president of the United States. 

As these elections approach, student organization TX Votes is working to increase civic engagement by helping students register to vote in Travis County and learn about different candidates.

“It is vital you’re registered, you’re educated and you’re making sure your representatives are hearing your voice,” said Janae Steggall, civic engagement alliance chair for TX Votes.

Steggall, international relations and global studies sophomore, said students should learn about voting dates and locations and then pass along that information to family and friends. 

Here is a timeline of this year’s election dates to keep up with and share.

FEBRUARY 3, 2020

Last day to register for the Primary Election. A voter registration application must be received by the county’s Voter Registration Office in-person or by mail.

FEBRUARY 18, 2020

Early voting begins for the Primary Election. The Flawn Academic Center and the Perry-Castañeda Library will host early voting. Other locations that are close to campus include Austin City Hall, Travis County Granger Building and Carver Branch Library. 

FEBRUARY 21, 2020

Last day to apply for a Primary Election mail-in ballot. Mail-in ballots are an option for students who are out of their county during early voting and Election Day. 

FEBRUARY 28, 2020

Early voting ends for the Primary Election. 

MARCH 3, 2020 

Texas Primary Election Day from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. FAC and PCL are on-campus voting locations. Mail-in ballots must be postmarked by 7 p.m.

APRIL 27, 2020

Last day to register for the Primary Runoff Election. One does not have to vote in the primary election to vote in the primary runoff election and primary election voters do not need to re-register. 

MAY 15, 2020

Last day to apply for a Primary Runoff Election in-mail ballot.

MAY 18, 2020

Early voting begins for the Primary Runoff Election.

MAY 22, 2020 

Early voting ends for the Primary Runoff Election. 

MAY 26, 2020 

Primary Runoff Election Day. Mail-in ballots must be postmarked by 7 p.m. 

OCTOBER 5, 2020 

Last day to register for the General Election. 

OCTOBER 19, 2020 

Early voting begins for the General Election. Travis County will publish polling locations as the election nears. 

OCTOBER 23, 2020 

Last day to apply for a General Election mail-in ballot.

OCTOBER 30, 2020 

Early voting ends for the General Election.

NOVEMBER 3, 2020 

General Election Day. Mail-in ballots must be postmarked by 7 p.m.

“You don’t have to be an expert on every candidate,” said Durrel Douglas, director of partnerships for Spread the Vote, a nonprofit that helps voters obtain identification. “You’re no less a voter in the voter booth than the president of the United States or the billionaire that owns Amazon.” 

Douglas said students must become more active in voting or individuals over the age of 50 will continue to be the majority of voters in Texas. 

“It’s important students get involved so they feel connected to the decisions their government makes,” said Sarah Batson, government freshman and junior chair of the research committee at TX Votes. “Ensure they’re helping create a country that reflects what you believe in by being a voter.”

This information has been gathered from the official Texas Secretary of State and Travis County webpages.