Texas 2020 Primary Elections: What you need to know to vote

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Posted signs near the Flawn Academic Center and the Perry Castaneda Library guide voters to polling stations for the primary election. These stations will remain open for early voting during normal business hours until February 28, 2020.

Photo Credit: Nicholas Vo | Daily Texan Staff

Texas Primary Election Day, March 3, is right around the corner. Early voting for the election started Feb. 18 and will continue until Friday.

Here is a voting guide for this year’s elections:

What is a primary election? 

In this election, voters are selecting nominees to represent their political party for the general November election. 

A primary runoff election could occur if no candidate receives at least half of the votes. The two candidates with the most votes would compete in the runoff election. 

Can I still register to vote? 

Voter registration for the primary election has ended. People can still register to vote for the general election and a possible primary runoff election.

Voter Registration Deadlines: 

Primary runoff election - April 27

General election - Oct. 5

How can I register to vote? 

To officially register, the county voter registrar’s office must receive a voter registration application in person or by mail. Confirm voter registration by using VoteTexas.gov. 

Voters must be registered 30 days before an election day to participate.

Can I vote by mail? 

Mail-in ballots or “absentee voting” can be completed by voters who:

-are out of the county during early voting and on Election Day

-are sick or disabled

-are 65 years of age or older on Election Day

-are confined in jail but eligible to vote

How do I request a mail-in ballot? 

Complete a ballot by mail application found on the Texas state department office webpage. 

The county clerk’s office must receive the application no later than 11 days before election day via mail, email or fax.

What form of identification do I need to bring to vote? 

There are 7 acceptable forms of photo ID:

-Texas driver license issued by the Texas Department of Public Safety

-Texas election identification certificate issued by DPS

-Texas personal identification card issued by DPS

-Texas handgun license issued by DPS

-United States military identification card containing the voter’s photo

-U.S. citizenship certificate containing the voter’s photo

-U.S. passport

A voter without acceptable identification can sign a form saying they have a “reasonable impediment” from obtaining this identification. Visit the Texas S.O.S. webpage for supporting forms of IDs that can be presented by a voter without acceptable identification. 

Where do I vote? 

Voters can visit the Texas state department office webpage to find polling locations near them. The Flawn Academic Center and Perry-Castañeda Library are on-campus voting locations. Close to campus locations include Austin City Hall, Carver Branch Library and Travis County Granger Building.

Tips from Travis County Clerk Dana DeBeauvoir:  

Research candidates before voting and take handwritten notes to the voting booth. Cell phones are not allowed.

“If you’ve done all that research and checked everybody out before you go to the polls, you’ll find yourself feeling a whole lot more comfortable about making your choices,” DeBeauvoir said.

Go to vote411.com to learn about candidates.

“You can very quickly read through all of their research and then make your own judgments about who you’d like to support,” DeBeauvoir said.

Research the busiest and slowest polling locations close by.

“Find a place that’s not so crowded,” DeBeauvoir said. “The best thing to do is vote today, right now.”

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