Early voting begins today — Tuesday, Feb. 16 — and runs through Friday, Feb. 26. Election Day is March 1.
It is a presidential election year, and once again, Texas voters have a chance to make a difference in the presidential election. But you have to get out and vote for another reason: there are a whole lot of other races on the ballot, including contested primaries for an open seat on the Texas Railroad Commission, Congress, the state Supreme Court, the Texas Legislature and more.
Here’s my quick guide to help you through the process:
Are unsure who is on the ballot? Do you even know what a primary election is?
Fear not. The nonpartisan League of Women Voters of Texas Education Fund is able to answer those questions. Learn all about voting in Texas here.
Okay! You got that? Now check out their 2016 primary election voters guide, which is available in both English and Spanish.
I trust the League and respect its process. Why? Because the League reaches out to all candidates running for a state level office requesting they respond to questions that include basic background information and important issues in the state. Those answers are compiled in the candidates’ own words in the voters guide.
Candidates who responded after the print deadline are not in the print or website version, but are available at VOTE411.
2) Now you know who to vote for. Here’s what you need to vote, per the Texas Secretary of State’s VoteTexas.gov, a clearinghouse of information on voting”
Texas voters are required to present one of seven types of photo identification to be eligible to vote.
The seven forms of identification permitted are:
- Texas driver license—unexpired or expired no longer than 60 days at the time of voting
- Texas personal identification card—unexpired or expired no longer than 60 days at the time of voting
- Texas concealed handgun license—unexpired or expired no longer than 60 days at the time of voting
- U.S. passport book or card—unexpired or expired no longer than 60 days at the time of voting
- U.S. Military identification with photo—unexpired or expired no longer than 60 days at the time of voting
- U.S. Citizenship Certificate or Certificate of Naturalization with photo
- Election Identification Certificate (E.I.C.)
According to the Texas Department of Public Safety, if you do not have one of the first six forms of identification only then may you apply for the E.I.C. at no charge. (Getting to a D.P.S. location and standing in line is a whole different story, however.)
Learn more about the getting an E.I.C. here.
During the early voting period, you may vote at any designated voting site in your county. On Election Day, March 1, you must vote at your precinct’s designated voting site.
Need more information?
Collin County 1-800-687-8546 co.collin.tx.us/elections
Dallas County 214-819-6300 dallascountyvotes.org
Denton County 940-349-3200 votedenton.com
Tarrant County 817-831-8683 tarrantcounty.com/eVote