The 2020 general election is Tuesday, Nov. 3, and Central Texas residents will be casting their votes in races, such as local and county sheriffs, and national, such as who will be president for the next four years.
Early voting in Texas starts on Tuesday, Oct. 13, and ends Friday, Oct. 30.
Here is everything you need to know about voting in the November election, from mail-in ballot information to polling locations and what you may 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.
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:
- Complete the Texas Secretary of State's online voter registration application. Fill out the required information, print the application, sign it and mail it directly to your county election office.
- Request a printed application
- Contact or visit your local voter registrar to complete the voter registration process
The deadline to register to vote in Texas is Monday, Oct. 5.
When you can vote, when early voting ends in Texas and places to vote:
Registered and eligible voters may vote at any early voting location located in the county in which they live.
Early voting locations will be populated through the Vote Texas website two days before the first day of early voting. All voters have to do is plug in their information in order to find polling locations.
Early voting in Texas starts on Oct. 13 and the last day of early voting is Oct. 30. During early voting, polling place hours vary at each location.
On Election Day, Nov. 3, things work a little differently.
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 doesn't participate in CWPP, you can only vote at the polling place assigned to you.
On Election Day, all polling places across Texas are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. As long as you get in line before 7 p.m., you will be able to vote.
What you need to bring 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)
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." While lack of immunity to the coronavirus alone doesn’t qualify a Texas voter for a mail-in ballot based on disability, a voter can consider it along with their medical history to decide if they meet the requirement.
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 Friday, Oct. 23.
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.
"When will I receive my mail-in ballot?"
If your county elections office receives your application to vote by mail more than 45 days before Election Day, the county must send your ballot at least 30 days out from the election. Some counties are aiming to get the ballots out sooner, but they can't send them until the entire county ballot – from the race for president to local water districts – is certified.
If your application is received after the 45-day mark, the county must mail out your ballot within seven days of approving your application.
Williamson County has launched a link where residents voting by mail can track their ballot status, and Travis County is also developing an in-house system that allows voters to look up their ballot status.
What will be on the ballot?:
Aside from the presidential race, there are some other major national, State and local races on the ballot this November. Here's a look at some of the key races you may see on your ballot, depending on where you live.
U.S. Senate race in Texas
This is Hegar's second bid for Congress in recent years. In 2018, she ran for the U.S. House of Representatives for Texas’ 31st Congressional District and won the Democratic nomination, but was ultimately defeated by three percentage points in the general election by incumbent Republican John Carter.
Cornyn has served as a senator for Texas for 18 years.
U.S. House of Representatives
U.S. House District 10
Rep. Michael McCaul (R) is seeking his ninth term for the U.S. House of Representatives - District 10, which covers parts of Travis and Bastrop counties. He will again face Austin attorney Mike Siegel (D). The two ran against each other in 2018, with Siegel falling to McCaul by less than five percentage points.
U.S. House District 11
Incumbent Mike Conaway (R), who was first elected in 2004, announced his retirement from Texas' 11th District, which makes up the western-central portion of the state, including Llano and Mason counties.
U.S. House District 17
Former Congressman Pete Sessions (R) hopes to get back into the U.S. House of Representatives, this time to represent District 17, which stretches from Travis, Bastrop and Lee counties all the way to Waco and Bryan-College Station.
His opponent is Democrat Rick Kennedy, who is hoping to win the seat after losing to incumbent Republican Bill Flores in 2018.
Rep. Flores did not run for re-election in 2020.
U.S. House District 21
U.S. House District 25
Incumbent Rep. Roger Williams (R) will face Democrat Julie Oliver on the November ballot in the race for U.S. House District 25. It's a rematch of the 2018 race that saw Rep. Williams defeat Oliver by almost nine percentage points.
U.S. House District 27
U.S. House District 31
Donna Imam (D) will run against Republican incumbent John Carter in November’s general election.
U.S. House District 35
State races in Texas
Texas Senate District 21
Texas Senate District 24
Texas House District 13
Texas House District 17
Texas House District 20
Texas House District 45
Texas House District 46
Texas House District 47
Texas House District 48
Texas House District 49
- Charles Allan Meyer (R)
- State Rep. Gina Hinojosa (D)
Texas House District 50
Texas House District 51
Texas House District 52
Texas House District 53
Texas House District 73
Texas House District 136
Texas Railroad Commissioner
Texas Board of Education - District 5
Texas Board of Education - District 10
Major elections in Austin-Travis County and Central Texas
Travis County voters will be choosing a new district attorney after incumbent Margaret Moore conceded the July primary runoff race to Democrat Jose Garza. Voters will choose between Garza and Republican Martin Harry.
Delia Garza (D) will run unopposed to become the new Travis County attorney.
Travis County voters will also vote to either keep Sheriff Sally Hernandez (D) in office or replace her with Republican Raul Vargas. And there's a hot race for sheriff in Williamson County as well, where voters will choose between incumbent Robert Chody (R) and Mike Gleason (D), a former chief deputy.
City of Austin residents in districts two, four, six, seven and 10 will vote for a new city councilmember this November. Austin residents will also vote on two transportation propositions, including one that would partially fund Project Connect, a multi-billion-dollar mass transit plan.
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 Texas election results and news:
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."