AUSTIN (KXAN) — Millions of Texas voters are expected to vote in the March 5 primary elections. Voters will choose which candidates will represent the Democratic and Republican parties on the ballot in November’s general election.
Early voting runs from Feb. 20 through March 1. Election Day is Tuesday, March 5.
Here’s what you need to know before heading to the polls.
Which primary can I vote in?
Texas is an open primary state, which means you don’t have to be a registered Democrat or Republican to vote in that party’s primary.
When you get the polls, you’ll be asked which primary you’d like to vote in. You can only vote in one party’s primary.
If no candidate in a race gets at least 50% of the vote, the race will advance to a runoff on May 28. If you voted in the primary, you can only vote for the same party in the runoff. For example, if you voted in the Democratic primary, you cannot vote in a Republican runoff, and vice versa. If you don’t vote in the primary, you can choose which runoff to vote in.
What am I going to see on my ballot?
Voters will choose which candidates they want to win the presidential nominations for the Republican and Democratic parties. Also on the ballot will be candidates for U.S. Senate.
There are several other races for state office, including railroad commissioner, state senators and representatives, members of the State Board of Education, the Texas Supreme Court, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals and the Texas Court of Appeals.
In addition, several local and county races will appear on the ballot:
Where can I find a sample ballot?
Sample ballots are available on each county’s elections website. Use the table below to find your sample ballot:
How are Texas’ delegates awarded to presidential candidates?
The presidential primary gets the most attention, and both parties will choose who will receive delegates from Texas on the path to nomination.
For Republicans, 161 delegates will be up for grabs, some of which are awarded based on the statewide vote and others based on the vote in each congressional district. In each case, if a candidate gets more than 50% of the vote, they get all the delegates at stake. If no candidate gets above 50%, delegates are awarded to candidates who receive at least 20% of the vote.
For Democrats, 244 delegates are at stake. Delegates are proportionally awarded to candidates who receive at least 15% of the vote. Some delegates are awarded based on the statewide vote, while others are awarded based on the vote in individual congressional districts.
Mark your calendars
- Monday, Feb. 5: Last day to register to vote
- Tuesday, Feb. 20: Early voting begins
- Friday, Feb. 23: Last day to apply to vote by mail
- Friday, March 1: Early voting ends
- Tuesday, March 5: Election Day
Hours for early voting are typically Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., although some counties, like Travis County, have extended hours until 10 p.m. on some days. Weekend voting hours vary by county.
Early voting locations
Below are the early voting locations in Travis County, courtesy of the Travis County Clerk. You can also find a list of the locations here.
Election Day voting locations
Below are the Election Day voting locations in Travis County, courtesy of the Travis County Clerk. You can also find a list of the locations here.
What do I need to bring with me?
Under Texas law, voters are required to bring identification with them to vote. Here are the accepted forms of identification:
- Texas Driver License
- Texas Election Identification Certificate
- Texas Personal Identification 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
What’s not allowed?
Under Texas law, you cannot use most wireless communication devices within 100 feet of a voting station, nor are you allowed to record sound or images in that space. Those restricted electronics include:
- Cell phones
- Tablet computers
- Laptop computers
- Sound recorders
- Any other device that may communicate wirelessly, or be used to record sound or images.
You are also not allowed to wear clothing, hats, flags, etc. that relate to a candidate currently on the ballot within 100 feet of the voting station.
Local county elections offices
Below are links to each county elections website in the KXAN coverage area. Each will have information including phone numbers, polling locations and addresses. You can also check wait times at polling locations.
KXAN will have full coverage on Election Day, March 5.