What you need to know ahead of the Texas primary election
AUSTIN (KXAN) — In less than a month, we could have a better idea of who will represent each party in November’s election for state-level positions down to county level. Here’s what you need to know ahead of the 2022 primary election.
What will I see on my ballot?
Texas is an open primary state, which means that regardless of party, you can decide whether you will vote for the Democratic candidates in the Democratic ballot or the Republicans in the Republican ballot – you cannot cast both ballots.
“In some states, independents who aren’t affiliated with one of the parties are completely excluded from the primaries, so that’s a big advantage of Texas,” said Brian Smith, professor of political science at St. Edward.
How you vote in the primary election won’t affect how you’re allowed to vote in November, but if there’s a runoff, you won’t be able to cross party lines.
Here’s a sample of the Travis County Republican primary ballot. Here is a sample ballot from the Travis County Democratic primary election.
The objective of the primaries is to choose a candidate to represent each party in the November elections, the winner of which will ultimately represent you.
“The thing about primary elections though, those can be very important, especially here in central Texas where we see the Democrats are very strong in some areas, the Republicans are very strong in some areas and we don’t we don’t have much overlap between them,” Smith said. “Because of this, the primary election is often the general election in the sense that the candidate who wins the primary is the one who can run unopposed in the fall.”
Mark your diaries
- monday 31 january: Last day to register to vote
- Monday February 14: Early voting begins
- Monday February 21: Presidents’ Day, closure of early voting places
- Friday February 25: Early voting ends
- Tuesday, March 1: Election day
Early voting hours are Monday through Saturday 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. Election Day polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
“If you are not registered, we do not do have a same-day check-in in Texas,” Smith recalled. So if you missed the deadline to vote, you will have to abstain.
Early voting locations
Below are early voting locations in Travis County, courtesy of the Travis County Clerk. You can also find a list of locations here.
Polling places on election day
Below are the Election Day voting locations in Travis County, courtesy of the Travis County Clerk. You can also find a list of locations here.
What should I bring with me?
Under Texas law, voters are required to bring identification with them to vote. Here are the accepted IDs:
- Texas driver’s license
- Texas Voter ID Certificate
- Texas Personal ID Card
- Texas handgun license
- United States military identification card containing the person’s photograph
- United States citizenship certificate containing the person’s photograph
- United States passport
Smith recommends bringing two pieces of ID to avoid any issues.
What is not allowed?
Under Texas law, you cannot use most wireless communication devices within 100 feet of a polling place, nor are you allowed to record sound or images in this space. These restricted electronic devices include:
- Mobile phones
- Tablet computers
- tape recorders
- Any other device that can communicate wirelessly or be used to record sound or images.
You are also not allowed to wear clothes, hats, flags, etc. that relate to a candidate currently on the ballot within 100 feet of the polling place.
Other county election offices within KXAN viewing area
Below are links to the website for each county election in KXAN’s coverage area. Each will contain information including phone numbers, polling locations and addresses. You can also check waiting times at polling stations.