En español | Texas’s March 1 primaries will determine which candidates appear on November’s general election ballot for U.S. House, state House and Senate, governor and several other state offices. A new state law has changed voting, including a ban on drive-through and 24-hour early voting, new identification requirements for mail-in voting and stricter requirements when assisting a voter with his or her ballot. A new redistricting plan, meanwhile, changes voting districts for Texas’s U.S. House seats and state legislative seats. Some of these changes are being challenged in the courts, including by the federal government, so check back for up-to-date information.
- Mail-in ballots (formerly called absentee ballots) for the March primaries and November’s general election are available only to registered voters who are 65 or older, are sick or have a disability, are incarcerated but otherwise eligible, or will be out of their home county on Election Day and during the early voting period.
- Texas offers early in-person voting from Monday, Feb. 14 to Friday, Feb. 25 for the primaries and from Monday, Oct. 24 to Friday, Nov. 4 for the general election.
- The state’s primary election is Tuesday, March 1; the general election is Tuesday, Nov. 8. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
How do I register to vote?
- By mail: Complete a voter registration application online, then print, sign and mail it to the voter registrar in your county. If you’d prefer to complete the application by hand, make an online request or call your voter registrar to have them mail you a registration form. You can also pick up an application form from your voter registrar’s office or from public libraries, government offices or high schools and mail it to your voter registrar once complete.
- In person: Visit the voter registrar in your county.
The voter registration form requires you to provide either your Texas driver’s license number, your state ID number or the last four digits of your Social Security number. If you don’t have one of those, you must indicate that on the form.
The last day to register to be eligible to vote in the primary is Monday, Jan. 31, and for the general election Monday, Oct. 10.
Check to see if you’re already registered at the state’s Am I Registered? webpage. Note that you must reregister if you move to a different county. You can update your address online through the secretary of state’s Voter Name and Address Changes portal.
Once registered, you’ll be mailed a voter registration certificate or card with your name, address and the number of the precinct in which you’ll vote.
Does my party affiliation matter when I vote?
Texas primaries are open, so voters don’t have to be registered as a member of a party to participate in its primary. However, you must sign a pledge that declares you will not vote in another party’s primary in the same year. Additionally, if you vote in a party primary, you are eligible to vote only in that same party’s primary runoff, which will take place on Tuesday, May 24 if required.
How can I get a mail-in ballot? Are there important deadlines?
Mail-in ballots (formerly called absentee ballots) are available only to voters who are 65 or older, are sick or have a disability, are incarcerated but otherwise eligible, or will be out of their home county on Election Day and during the early voting period. You can request a mail-in ballot:
- By mail: Download the application for a ballot by online, or contact your county’s early voting clerk or the Secretary of State’s office and request that an application be mailed to you. Once complete, mail it to your county’s early voting clerk.
- In person: You can also submit your application in person to your county’s early voting clerk.
For the primary election, applications can be submitted starting Saturday, Jan. 1 and must be received (not postmarked) by Friday, Feb. 18 by noon or close of business, whichever is later. If you are voting by mail because you’re disabled or are 65 or older, you can use a single application to request ballots by mail for all elections in the calendar year; mark “annual application” when completing the form. For the general election, applications can be submitted starting Friday, Sept. 9 and must be received (not postmarked) by Friday, Oct. 28 by noon or close of business, whichever is later.
- By email or fax: If you think you may miss the deadline to submit your application for a ballot by mail, you can email your application to your county’s early voting clerk — or fax it, if your county clerk has a fax machine. You must then also mail the original application so that the clerk receives it no later than the fourth business day after it was received via email or fax.
The new state voter law requires mail-in ballot voters to provide either their Texas driver’s license, personal ID or election ID certificate number, or the last four digits of their Social Security number on both the mail-in ballot application and the return envelope for completed ballots.
If you require assistance to complete your mail-in ballot request the form and/or mail-in ballot, and your assister’s name, address and signature must be included on the request form and/or the carrier envelope used to return your ballot to the early voting clerk. Voters may not be assisted by their employer, an agent of their employer, or an officer or agent of their union.
How do I submit a mail-in ballot? Are there important deadlines?
Texas voters can deliver completed mail-in ballots only by mail or in person to their county’s early voting clerk; dropboxes are not available. Your completed mail-in ballot must be received by your county’s early voting clerk:
- By 7 p.m. on Election Day if the carrier envelope is not postmarked.
- By 5 p.m. on Wednesday, March 2 for the primaries and Wednesday, Nov. 9 for the general election if it’s postmarked by 7 p.m. on Election Day.
Note that postage may be required to both apply for a mail-in ballot by mail and to return your mail-in ballot. Texas counties aren’t required to prepay postage, but some Texas counties do.
Can I track my absentee ballot?
The secretary of state’s office is in the process of creating an online ballot tracker. It will be available at the state’s official voting website starting Saturday, Jan. 1. You’ll be able to check the status of your mail-in ballot as well as correct any missing or incorrect information identified by county election officials.
Can I vote in person before primary Election Day?
Yes, registered voters can vote at early voting sites in their county from Monday, Feb. 14 to Friday, Feb. 25 for the primaries and from Monday, Oct. 24 to Friday, Nov. 4 for the general election.
Early voting locations and hours will be posted on the secretary of state’s web portal two days before early voting begins. Hours for early voting vary from county to county but can happen only between the hours of 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. Counties with more than 55,000 residents must have polls open for at least 12 hours each weekday during the second week of early voting. Drive-through and 24-hour early voting are no longer permitted.
Note that the recent redistricting in Texas means your polling location may have changed. Lawsuits over the new redistricting are pending.
When is Election Day? When are polls open?
The primary election is Tuesday, March 1. The general election is Tuesday, Nov. 8. Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Voting sites will be listed on the secretary of state’s web portal two days before Election Day (Sunday, Feb. 27 for the primaries and Sunday, Nov. 6 for the general election).
All polling places in Texas must be accessible for voters. If you require assistance to cast your ballot you may receive assistance from either a person of your choosing (aside from your employer, an agent of your employer, or an officer or agent of your union) or from two election workers. Those who assist others must sign a form disclosing their relationship to the voter. They also must recite an oath stating they did not pressure or coerce the voter into choosing them as an assistant.
Voters who can't read English may use interpreters at the polls. If a voter is physically unable to enter a polling place, curbside voting is also available.
Do I need identification to vote?
Yes. You must present one of the seven acceptable forms of photo ID, which include a Texas driver’s license, an election identification certificate, and a U.S. passport.
If you don’t have a photo ID you can fill out a declaration at your polling place, where you must also present one of the acceptable forms of supporting ID, such as a certified copy of a domestic birth certificate, current utility bill, bank statement, paycheck, or government check; or the voter registration certificate from your county voter registrar.
If you have an acceptable photo ID but don’t have it at your polling place, you can still vote a provisional ballot. You will have six days (until Monday, March 7 for the primaries and Monday, Nov. 14 for the general election) to present the acceptable ID to your county registrar or to process an exemption in order for your vote to count.
What races are on the ballot?
- U.S. House: All 38 seats; Texas gained two seats in the House, as determined by population growth in the 2020 census.
- State Senate: All 31 seats
- State House: All 150 seats
- Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General and other state offices
Editor’s note: This guide was updated on Dec. 17 with information about how to vote in 2022. The guide was first published on July 30, 2020. Voting rules, procedures and candidates may change before Election Day. We’ll keep this guide updated, so bookmark this page and check back.