News

2018 Elections: Everything You Need To Know For Early Voting

Early voting for the March 6 primary election begins Tuesday, February 20

Early voting begins Tuesday for the March 6 primary elections.

The primary determines party nominees for the midterm elections in November. While historically, Texans don’t turn out for the primaries — in 2016, just over 21 percent of eligible Texans voted in the presidential primary — low turnout does not diminish the importance of the midterms.

November’s elections will decide who controls many of the state’s top offices. Up for grabs is a stay in the governor’s mansion, a seat in the U.S. Senate and high profile statewide offices, including lieutenant governor and attorney general. Also at stake are all of Texas’ congressional seats, as well the entire Texas House of Representatives and half of the Texas Senate.

Local, county and judicial posts are also on the ballot.

What Do I Need To Vote?

Early voting, which begins Tuesday, February 20, runs through March 2.

As part of the state’s voter ID law, presenting a photo ID is required at all polling locations. A federal court in 2016 ruled the photo ID may be expired up to four years. Seniors ages 65 years and older can use a photo ID expired up to seven years.

If you don’t have a photo ID, an alternative form of identification is allowed, but a signed form explaining why a photo ID is not available is required.

Acceptable forms of photo ID:

  • Texas driver license issued by the Texas Department of Public Safety
  • Texas Election Identification Certificate
  • Texas personal identification card
  • Texas license to carry a handgun
  • U.S. military identification card
  • U.S. citizenship certificate containing the person’s photograph
  • U.S. passport

If one of the above forms of ID is not available, the following forms of ID will also be accepted along with a signed Reasonable Impediment Declaration, explaining why a photo ID was not available:

  • Valid voter registration certificate
  • Certified original birth certificate
  • Original or copy of a current utility bill
  • Original or a copy of a bank statement
  • Original or a copy of a government check
  • Original or copy of a paycheck
  • Original or a copy of a government document with your name and an address

 

 

Mark Your Calendar

  • Feb. 20: The first day of early voting. 
  • Feb. 23: The last day to apply for a mail-in ballot.
  • March 2: The last day of early voting.
  • March 6: Primary Election Day.

NOTE: Once the primary elections have been decided and the parties make their official nominations, voters who didn’t cast a ballot in the primaries will still be able to vote in the midterms. The registration deadline is April 5.

TPR reporter Ryan Poppe contributed to this report

Vince Kong can be reached at vkong@tpr.org or on Twitter @teamvincek

Share