AUSTIN (KXAN) — In less than a month, we could have a better idea of who will represent each party in the November election for positions at the state level down to the county. Here’s what you need to know leading up to the 2022 primary election.
What am I going to see on my ballot?
Texas is an open primary state which means, regardless of party, you can decide whether you’re going to vote for Democratic candidates on the Democratic ballot or for Republican ones on the Republican ballot — you can’t fill out both ballots.
“In some states, Independents who are not affiliated with one of the parties are totally shut out of the primaries, so that’s a big advantage of Texas,” Brian Smith, a professor of political science at St. Edward’s University, explained.
How you vote in the primary election won’t impact how you’re allowed to vote in November, but if there’s a runoff, you won’t be able to cross party lines.
The goal of the primaries is to pick one candidate to represent each party in the November election, the winner of which will ultimately represent you.
“The thing about primary elections though, these can be very important especially here in central Texas where we see that the Democrats are very strong in some areas, the Republicans are very strong in some areas and we don’t have a lot of overlap between them,” Smith said. “Because of that, the primary election is often the general election in the sense that the candidate that wins the primary is the one that may run unopposed in the fall.”
Mark your calendars
- Monday, Jan 31: Last day to register to vote
- Monday, Feb. 14: Early voting begins
- Monday, Feb. 21: Presidents Day, early voting locations closed
- Friday, Feb. 25: Early voting ends
- Tuesday, March 1: Election day
Hours for early voting are Monday through Saturday 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. Election Day voting locations will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
“If you’re not registered, we don’t have same-day registration in Texas,” Smith reminded. So if you missed the deadline to vote, you’re going to have to sit this one out.
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
Smith recommends bringing two forms of identification to avoid any issues.
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.
Other county elections offices in KXAN’s viewing area
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.