On Nov. 6, Texas voters will decide who will hold several statewide, legislative and congressional seats. To help Texans navigate Election Day, we’ve compiled an overview of everything you need to know about casting a ballot in the 2018 midterms. (And no, you still can’t take a selfie at the polls).
If you share your address below, we’ll personalize this piece for you, showing the races you get to participate in and which county you need to work with. (Don’t worry! We’re not storing this information — just determining which districts and county you live in.)
Aside from statewide races decided by all Texans, who you get to vote for depends on where you live. On the federal level, Texans are divided among 36 U.S. House districts. On the state level, your address determines your district — and who represents you — in the Texas House, the Texas Senate and on the State Board of Education. All U.S. House and Texas House districts are up for election this year, but only half of Texas Senate and State Board of Education seats are on the ballot.
If you share your address above, we can show you the 2018 general election candidates for each of your districts. Otherwise, you can view our roundup of all the candidates here.
Fourteen of the races on all Texans’ general election ballots this year will be for statewide positions. This includes the race to decide who — in addition to John Cornyn — will represent the state in the U.S. Senate. Seven statewide races include executive positions such as governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general, and six are for the state’s two highest courts — the Supreme Court and the Court of Criminal Appeals.
Your local candidates
You might have noticed that we’ve not said anything about elections for local positions such as sheriff. Because local elections are administered at the county level, there’s no statewide listing of all local races. The Texas secretary of state’s office maintains a list of county websites you can reference to learn more about what is on the ballot locally. Your local newspapers or TV stations might also have candidate listings.
What dates do I need to know?
The last day to register to vote is Oct. 9(1 days away!)
Is there a way to confirm whether I’m registered to vote?
Yes, there is! You can check your registration status on the Texas secretary of state’s website by using one of these three ways to log on:
- Providing your Texas driver’s license number and date of birth
- Providing your first and last name and what county you reside in
- Providing your date of birth and Voter Unique Identifier (VUID), which appears on your voter registration certificate.
How can I register to vote?
Texans can fill out an application in person at their county voter registrar’s office. Most post offices, libraries and high schools also provide the necessary applications needed to cast a ballot. Texans can also print out the application online or request it through the mail.
However, keep in mind that registering online is not an option in Texas. Mailed applications must be postmarked on or before the Oct. 9 deadline.
The last day to apply for ballot by mail is Oct. 26
How do I know if I’m eligible to vote by mail?
- You will not be in your county on Nov. 6 (Election Day) and not in your county during the entire span of early voting
- You are sick or disabled
- You will be 65 years old or older by Election Day
- You are confined in jail but otherwise eligible (i.e., not convicted of a felony).
Eligible Texans who want to vote by mail have two options: They can mail in their ballot — postmarked by Election Day and received by 5 p.m. the day after the election — or they can give their ballot directly to an early voting clerk.
Early voting runs from Oct. 22 through Nov. 2
Where am I allowed to vote early?
You can find early voting locations at the same website that allows you to check whether you are registered to vote. Unlike on Election Day, you are allowed to vote early at any polling location in the countyyou are registered to vote in.
Who is eligible to vote early?
Anyone who is registered to vote may vote early. However, you must do so in person. Only certain voters can mail in their ballots.
Get more information at Texas Tribune.com