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May 2021 election: What you need to know before voting

Here is everything you need to know ahead of the May 1 election, from mail-in ballot information to polling locations.

AUSTIN, Texas — The May 2021 election is Saturday, May 1, and Central Texas residents will be casting their votes on local races – such as city council positions and school board spots – city propositions and more.

Early voting ran from Monday, April 19, through Tuesday, April 27. According to the Travis County Clerk's Office, 13.67% of registered voters voted early in the May election.

Election Day voting locations will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. For a list of polling locations, click here.

Here is everything you need to know about voting in the May election, from mail-in ballot information to polling locations and what you will see on your ballot.

Are you registered to vote?

To vote in Texas, you must first be registered. 

You can check online to see if you are currently registered to vote. 

The deadline to register to vote in the May election has passed, but you should register so you can vote in future elections.

To register to vote in Texas for the first time, you'll need to complete a voter registration application and return it to your county election office. To complete an application, you may:

What to bring to the polling site to vote in Texas

You need to have a form of identification when you go to cast your ballot at a polling location. Here is a list of acceptable forms of photo identification:

  • 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
  • U.S. Military Identification Card containing the person’s photograph
  • U.S. Citizenship Certificate containing the person’s photograph
  • U.S. Passport (book or card)

If you don't have one of the forms of ID listed above and can't reasonably obtain one, you can bring one of the following in order to execute a "Reasonable Impediment Declaration":

  • Copy or original of a government document that shows the voter’s name and an address, including the voter’s 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
  • 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)

WATCH: What form of ID do you need to vote? 

How to request a mail-in ballot in Texas

If a registered Texas voter wishes to vote by mail, they must: 

  • Be 65 years old or older
  • Be sick or have a disability
  • Be confined in jail but still eligible to vote
  • Be out of the county where they are registered on Election Day and during the entire early voting period 

The Texas election code defines a disability as an "illness or physical condition" that prevents a voter from appearing in person without personal assistance or the "likelihood of injuring the voter’s health." 

To apply for a mail-in ballot, you must deliver a completed application for ballot by mail to your county elections office. Applications can be dropped off in person before the start of early voting. Applications can also be submitted by fax or email, but the county must receive a hard copy within four business days.

You can print out your own application, contact your local elections office to receive one or request one from the secretary of state’s office. The deadline to request a mail-in ballot is Tuesday, April 20.

If you are serving in the military or are an overseas voter, click here for more information about voting. If you are a voter who has a disability, click here for more information about voting accessibility.

Where you can vote

You will want to see if the county you live in participates in the Countywide Polling Place Program (CWPP). If your county does participate in CWPP, you can vote at any polling place in the county. If your county does not participate in CWPP, you can only vote at the polling place assigned to you.

Here are a map and list of polling locations in Travis County for the May election.

What's on the ballot?

Your personal sample ballot with all local contests can be found on the voter website for the county you live in.

Travis County voters can visit the Vote Travis website, enter their details and click on “view my ballot.”

Williamson County voters can find their sample ballots on the Vote WilCo website by searching their details and clicking on their name.

Other counties’ websites can be found on the list maintained by the Texas secretary of state’s office.

How to get the latest 2021 election results in Austin and Central Texas

Be sure to bookmark kvue.com/elections in order to get live results once the polling sites around Central Texas close on Election Day. Follow along with the latest election stories at kvue.com/VoteTexas.

Download the KVUE mobile app to get election results straight to your phone. Once the app is downloaded, be sure to select the topics you want to receive notifications about, including "Vote Texas" and "politics."

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Breaking down the Austin propositions on the May 1 election ballot