How, where and when to vote in Texas
February 26, 2020
How to vote
When you arrive at the polling place, you will be asked to present one of the seven acceptable forms of photo identification, unless you are a voter with a permanent exemption on your voter registration certificate. If you do not possess a form of acceptable photo identification and you cannot reasonably obtain one, show a supporting form of identification to the election official and execute a Reasonable Impediment Declaration. The election official will ask if you have moved and then ask you to sign the list of people who have voted in the precinct. Depending on the type of election – local, statewide, national or combination – you will be handed:
- A paper ballot on which you will select your choices and which will be counted by hand;
- A paper ballot on which you will select your choices by darkening an oval, completing an arrow, or “marking” with the aid of a voting machine; or
- A slip of paper with a numerical access code or, in some counties, a ballot activator card. In the next available voting booth, enter your code or card and let the on-screen instructions guide you through the process of electronic voting.
Texas uses three methods to vote
- 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 pre-printed 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.
Where to vote
On your Voter Registration certificate, you will see a precinct number. Your residence is located in a specific “precinct” or area within the county where you will vote on Election Day. In some cases, precincts may be combined to accommodate joint local elections.
Registered and eligible voters may vote at any early voting location located in the county of residence. Whether at home, work or out running errands, you will be able to find a polling place near you. Early voting locations will be populated on the VoteTexas.gov search site at My Voter Page two days prior to the first day of early voting. You may want to contact the Early Voting Clerk for State and County Elections in your county for early voting locations. Also, many newspapers publish early voting polling locations.
Your residence is located in a specific “precinct” or area within the county where you will vote on Election Day. Election Day voting hours are from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. at all polling places statewide. For questions regarding polling places, always consult the County Elections Office.
Your voting precinct number (Pct. No.) is located next to your year of birth on your voter registration certificate. Precinct map.
Wichita County Clerk
Lori Bohannon; [email protected]; (940) 766-8100 Option 1 Option 7; FAX: (940) 716-8554; 900 7th Street, Room 250, Wichita Falls, TX 76301
When to vote
Last day for early voting in the Texas Primary Election
- Friday, Feb. 28.
Last day to mail a ballot back in for early voting in the Texas Primary Election
- Tuesday, March 3 (Election Day) at 7:00 p.m. if carrier envelope is not postmarked, OR
- Wednesday, March 4 (next business day after Election Day) at 5:00 p.m. if the carrier-envelope is postmarked by 7:00 p.m.
Texas Primary Election day AKA Super Tuesday
- Tuesday, March 3
Last day to register to vote for the national election
- Monday, Oct. 5
- Tuesday, Nov. 3