If you’re registered to vote but not one of the 97,653 people who took advantage of early voting in Bexar County, then Tuesday is your chance to cast your ballot in the Texas primary election.
The Texas primary marks the first midterm primary election of any U.S. state in 2022.
Even without a presidential election in 2022, it’s still an important midterm election year with all 435 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives and a third of the U.S. Senate seats up for grabs.
Texas is one of 39 states with gubernatorial elections this year, as well as other state offices on the ballot. And Bexar County will elect a new County Judge — the top elected official in the county — for the first time in 20 years. (See a preview of key races here.)
Those positions will ultimately be decided during the General Election on Nov. 8, but the candidates who make it to the November election will be selected by voters in the March 1 Primary Election.
You may have questions about how, when and where to vote — and we’ve got you covered.
What is a Primary Election?
In Texas, the primary elections are actually two separate elections (one for Republicans, one for Democrats) that occur on the same date, March 1.
The Republican and Democratic parties use statewide primary elections to select their respective nominees for the general election in November.
Winners are determined by majority vote. If no single candidate receives more than 50 percent of the votes during the primary, the top two candidates will head to a runoff election in May. The winner would then advance to November’s general election.
The Green and Libertarian parties nominate candidates by convention and their candidates will not appear on the primary election ballot. You can find out how to participate in the conventions by visiting the Green Party or Libertarian Party websites.
Who is on the ballot?
The Texas Primary ballots will include federal, state and county races.
If you are registered to vote in Bexar County, you can check out the March Primary ballots here:
Otherwise, you can check your county’s ballot here on the Texas Secretary of State’s website.
How do I find out which congressional or legislative district I live in and who currently represents me in state and federal elected positions?
You can enter your address on the Texas Legislature’s website and get a list of your state and federal representatives.
If you live in Bexar County, you can find information about all of the races in your precinct here.
Who can vote in the Texas Primary Election?
U.S. citizens who are 18 years old by primary election day and registered to vote by Jan. 31 in Texas can vote in the Texas Primary Election on March 1, unless prohibited by law.
Can I vote in both the Republican and Democratic primaries?
No. A voter will choose either to vote in the Republican Primary or the Democratic Primary, but cannot vote in both in a single year.
If a voter chooses to vote in one party’s primary election, the voter will only be permitted to vote in the same party’s runoff election on May 24. If a voter does not vote in the March Primary, he or she will still be permitted to vote in the runoff and will choose one party’s ballot on that date.
After a voter affiliates themselves with a party, the voter cannot change party affiliation during that calendar year.
However, affiliation with a political party does not determine how a voter can vote during the General Election in November. And the next calendar year presents another opportunity for voters to decide which party’s primary to vote in.
A person who plans to vote in the convention for either the Green or Libertarian Party should abstain from voting in the Republican or Democratic primary because doing so would make them ineligible.
How can I find out if I’m registered to vote?
Click here to check to see if you’re registered.
For the primary, the last day to register to vote in Texas was Jan. 31. If you’re not registered, you can still do so before the November general election.
Where do I vote?
Depending on which county you live in, you may be able to vote at any polling place in your county or you may have to vote in your specific precinct. Atascosa, Bexar, Comal, DeWitt, Guadalupe, Hays, Kendall and Medina County are approved to use the Countywide Polling Place Program which allows users to vote anywhere in their county during early voting and on election day.
You can search for a voting center by address.
Here is a list of all the voting locations for March 1 in Bexar County:
If you do not live in one of those counties or prefer to vote in your precinct, you can check your poll location through your county or through the Secretary of State’s website.
What if I’ve lost my voter registration card?
You don’t need it to vote, but to get a new one you can notify your county voter registrar in writing.
What do I need to bring to the polls?
You will be required to show identification to vote in Texas. Here is a list of the acceptable forms of photo ID:
- Texas Driver License issued by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS)
- Texas Election Identification Certificate issued by DPS
- Texas Personal Identification Card issued by DPS
- Texas Handgun License issued by DPS
- United States Military Identification Card containing the person’s photograph
- United States Citizenship Certificate containing the person’s photograph
- United States Passport (book or card)
Your ID may be expired no more than four years unless you’re 70-years-old, and then the acceptable form of ID can be expired for any length of time.
If a voter has one of the acceptable forms of IDs but forgets to bring it to the polling place, the voter can vote provisionally. That voter will then have six days to present a photo ID to the county voter registrar or fill out a natural disaster affidavit, or the vote will not count.
If you do not have one of the acceptable forms of ID and cannot reasonably obtain one, you can fill out a Reasonable Impediment Declaration at your place of voting and must show one of the following supporting forms of ID:
- copy or original of a government document that shows the voter’s name and an address, including the voter registration certificate;
- copy of or original current utility bill;
- copy of or original bank statement;
- copy of or original government check;
- copy of or original paycheck; or
- copy of or original of (a) a certified domestic (from a U.S. state or territory) birth certificate or (b) a document confirming birth admissible in a court of law which establishes the voter’s identity (which may include a foreign birth document).
Voters with a disability may apply with the county voter registrar for a permanent exemption to the photo ID requirement.
How do I vote?
Texas uses three methods to vote: (The following information comes directly from the Secretary of State’s office.)
- Paper ballots are still used as the primary way of voting in a number of Texas counties. Voters mark their ballot by hand with an indelible marker (a marker that cannot be erased) or pen and place their finished ballot in a ballot box. Local election officials then count the votes by hand.
- Optical scan voting systems enable voters to mark their choices on preprinted ballots by either connecting “arrows” or filling in “bubbles” next to the candidates’ names. The paper ballot is then inserted into an electronic ballot counter, which then counts the marked “bubbles” or “arrows” on each ballot and automatically computes the totals for each candidate and/or issue.
- DREs (Direct Record Electronic systems) enable voters to record their choices electronically directly into the machine. There are several types of DREs (some have a dial while others use a touch screen), but essentially they all enable voters to move back and forth between screens (ballot pages) to select the candidates and/or issues for whom they wish to vote. Once a voter has made his or her choices, the DRE provides a summary screen that presents those choices and gives the voter the ability to go back and make any changes before pressing the “Vote” or “Cast Ballot” button. One of the benefits of a DRE system is that it prevents “over-voting”; that is, it stops the voter from selecting two candidates or options in a race where only one is allowed. As well, a DRE gives the voter an opportunity to correct “under-voting,” or failing to select any candidate or option in a race.
Each voting location must offer at least one accessible voting system that enables the blind, elderly, physically disabled, and non-reading Texans to vote independently and in private.
Click here and scroll to the bottom of the page to see which system your county uses and get step-by-step voting instructions.
Where can I find election results?
KSAT will have election results here.
You can also get election results from these websites:
If I’m not registered to vote now, how do I register to vote in the next election?
If you are not registered to vote in the March 1 primary election, you can still register in time for the local/county elections and state constitutional amendment election on May 7, the primary runoff election on May 24 and the General Election in November.
There are several ways to register.
You can fill out a voter registration application online. You will need to print it out and mail it to the voter registrar in your county of residence.
You can register in person at your county voter registration office. The Bexar County Elections office is located at 1103 S. Frio, Suite 100. If you live in a county other than Bexar, you can find out where to register in person here.
You can request a postage-paid application from your voter registrar by filling out this form.