Jan. 31 is the last day to register to vote in the March 1 midterm primary election, and along with the deadline comes confusion about new voting regulations in Texas.
Those registered in Bexar County will have the opportunity to vote in either the Republican or Democratic primaries for state, federal and county elections. Voters will choose each party’s candidate for governor, lieutenant governor, and attorney general, along with other statewide offices. Locally, the Bexar County judge’s seat is open for the first time in 20 years.
But before you can cast a ballot, you have to make sure you’re registered to vote.
How can I determine if I’m registered to vote?
You can check your voter registration status here. All you need are a few things: Voter ID number or Texas Driver’s License number, your name, county and date of birth.
How do I register?
You can find a registration application online and print it out, or call the Voter Registration Office at 210-335-VOTE (8683) and request a voter registration application. When you get the physical application, just fill it out, sign it and mail it back to:
Voter Registration Office
1103 S. Frio, Ste. 100
San Antonio, TX 78207
You can also find voter registration applications at libraries, government offices, high schools or with volunteer deputies.
When is the deadline to register?
Turn in your application to the Elections Department by Monday, Jan. 31. If you’re mailing in your application, make sure it’s postmarked and sent by Jan. 31.
I just moved. Do I need to re-register?
Whether you moved to a different county or to a different address within the same county, all you have to do is update your address online. You can also get a new voter registration application, make note of your new address and mail it to the Voter Registration Office.
What if I want to vote by mail? What are the new rules?
People seeking to vote by mail have to apply using a new form this year. You may apply for a ballot by mail here. Fill out the form, sign it and submit the application to the Bexar County Elections Department between 60 and 11 days before the election. You can vote by mail if you are:
- Going to be away from your county on election day and during early voting
- Expecting to give birth within three weeks before or after election day
- Sick or disabled
- 65 years of age or older on election day
- Confined in jail, but eligible to vote
After state legislation changed some of the rules about voting by mail, the League of Women Voters recommends these steps to prevent your application or mail-in ballot from being rejected:
- Be sure to fill out the ID section, which asks for your driver’s license number, state ID number, Election Identification Certificate number or the last four digits of your Social Security number. Do not leave it blank, and some voting rights advocates suggest listing both a Texas-issued ID number and the last four SSN digits.
- When mailing your ballot, mark the carrier envelope with the same ID number used on your vote-by-mail application.
Feb. 18 is the deadline for the Bexar County Elections Department to receive your vote-by-mail application.
When is early voting?
Early voting begins Monday, Feb. 14, and runs through Feb. 25.
When is election day?
Election day is Tuesday, March 1.
What will I be voting on?
At the federal level, all congressional seats are up for election. At the state level, there are primaries for governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, land commissioner and other statewide offices as well as statewide judicial races. Voters also will select party candidates for the state Senate and House of Representatives.
Bexar County residents also will see primary candidates for criminal district attorney and county judge, a position that is vacant following five-term Judge Nelson Wolff’s decision not to seek reelection.
The Republican primary ballot also includes 10 proposition questions on such topics as immigration enforcement, the elimination of property taxes and school choice.
Have more questions?
Check out VoteTexas.gov. Or ask us, and we’ll find an answer for you!