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Election guide: Early voting begins for the March primaries

(Austonia)

Austinites can begin heading to the polls today to early vote in the March primary elections.


In the primary elections, voters will decide a party's candidate before the general election for different races. This election includes races for governor, lieutenant governor and members of Congress.

Due to Texas having open primaries, voters choose which party’s ballot they want to vote in at the polling location. But they can’t vote in both Republican and Democratic primaries in the same election.

Here are the dates, locations and candidates in this election.

Know before you go

Early voting spans from Feb. 14-25. Election Day is March 1.

The time to register to vote has passed in this election, check if you are registered before heading to the polls here.

You'll need a valid photo ID to present at the polls.

Voters can head to any polling location in the county they live in to cast their ballot. Additional polling locations will be added on Election Day.

Travis County polling locations are open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from noon to 6 p.m. on Sunday. They will be closed Feb. 21 for Presidents Day.

You can view wait times at Travis County locations here.

Voting by mail

In Texas, only certain voters are eligible to vote by mail. They include: people who are 65 years or older; out of the country during the entire election period; sick or disabled; in jail.

Eligible voters must apply for a mail-in ballot by Friday, Feb. 18. The application form, which can be found here, must be mailed to the following address and received by that date.

Dana DeBeauvoir
Travis County Clerk - Elections Division
P.O. Box 149325
Austin, TX 78714

Once you receive your mail-in ballot, fill it out per the instructions and return it. It must be postmarked by or on Election Day and received the following business day.

Voters who wish to hand-deliver their mail-in ballot can do so at the following address.

Travis County Election Division
5501 Airport Blvd
Austin, TX 78751

A new Texas law requires that applications for ballots by mail include a valid Driver’s License Number or last four digits of their Social Security Number. The number is then compared against the applicant’s voter registration record and rejected if it does not match. Thousands have been rejected already for this reason.

What's on the ballot

The big ballot items include the race for governor, but voters will also cast a ballot for members of Congress, the State Legislature and other county races.

At the federal level, voters will vote on who will run for U.S. Congress in their party.

Running to represent District 37, which includes the Western half of Austin, are:

  • Democrats: Lloyd Doggett, Donna Imam, Quinton “Q” Beaubouef, Chris Jones
  • Republicans: Jenny Garcia Sharon, Jermiah Diacogiannis, Rod Lingsch

Running to represent District 35, which includes East Austin and South I-35 to San Antonio, are:

  • Democrats: Carla-Joy Sisco, Rebecca Viagrán, Greg Casar, Eddie Rodriguez
  • Republicans: Jenai Aragona, Michael Rodriguez, Asa George Kent Palagi, Alejandro Ledezma, Dan Sawatzki, Dan McQueen, Sam Montoya, Bill Condict, Jennifer Sundt, Marilyn Jackson
Running to represent District 17, which includes Round Rock and Pflugerville, are:
  • Democrats: Mary Jo Woods
  • Republicans: Paulette Carson, Jason Nelson, Pete Sessions *, Rob Rosenberger
At the state level, voters will choose which candidate in their party they want to run in the November general election for governor. Gov. Greg Abbott has seven challengers in running for his third term. They include:
  • Democrats:Inocencio (Inno) Barrientez, Michael Cooper, Joy Diaz, Beto O’Rourke, Rich Wakeland
  • Republicans: Greg Abbott *, Paul Belew, Danny Harrison, Kandy Kaye Horn, Don Huffines, Rick Perry, Chad Prather, Allen B. West
The state’s second-highest executive office is up for election. Dan Patrick is seeking his third term and is up against five challengers.
  • REPUBLICANS: Trayce Bradford, Todd M. Bullis, Daniel Miller, Dan Patrick *, Aaron Sorrells, Zach Vance
  • DEMOCRATS: Michelle Beckley, Carla Brailey, Mike Collier

Click here to view a personalized sample ballot.

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