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Election Day 2018 is almost here. It’s an exciting time, and we at AARP Texas want to help you feel ready to exercise your right to vote.

In fact, you don’t even have to wait until Election Day on Nov. 6 to vote. Texas’ early voting is underway and closes Nov. 2.

The deadline to register to vote in this election has already passed, but you can check if you’re registered to vote on the Bexar County website by entering your date of birth and house number. If you’re not registered, you can go to the Bexar County voter registration page to learn more and make sure you’re ready for the next election.

Congressional races on the ballot include ones for U.S. senator and representatives. Several positions in the Texas Legislature are up for election, including governor, lieutenant governor, and state representatives. Local positions are also on the ballot, including Bexar County judge and district attorney.

During early voting, you can go to any early voting location in Bexar County. The County has this list of early voting locations and hours (current as of Oct. 18) available online. The list includes the Bexar County Election Department at 1103 S. Frio St. in San Antonio, as well as other locations such as certain libraries and school buildings. The County also has a map of early voting locations.

On Election Day, you have to vote within your particular voter precinct. The Texas Secretary of State says you can visit this page two days before Election Day to find polling places. Voting goes from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Election Day.

When voting in person, Texas law requires voters to have one of seven forms of photo identification. There are certain exceptions, including for voters who have a “reasonable impediment” to obtaining such an ID. Click here for more information, including the accepted forms of ID.

Voters can also get a mail-in ballot if they are 65 and older, disabled, or not in their county during early voting or on Election Day. This page, hosted by the Texas Secretary of State, contains the mail-in ballot application and instructions for filling out and sending it in. Applications must be received by the Bexar County Elections Department by Oct. 26, and the mailing address can be found on this page.

You can get your individual sample ballot on this Bexar County webpage by entering your street name. This shows races that you will vote in and the candidates for those positions.

By voting in this election, you can let politicians know the status quo of rancor and division won’t cut it anymore. We need elected officials who will put the needs of the people above superficial political victories.

There’s a lot at stake, after all. Prescription drug prices are too high, and people caring for their loved ones need help. And we must make sure that Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid are strong both for ourselves and for future generations.

You can make your voice heard in this election. You can be the difference.

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Joe Sanchez

Joe Sanchez leads AARP's advocacy work in the San Antonio area and beyond. Before joining AARP 15 years ago, Joe worked for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) as a lobbyist...