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Ready to Vote in the Primaries?

By SA2020 | Feb 18 2020

2020 is a big year for our community: we’re reaffirming and strengthening San Antonio’s Community Vision, completing the U.S. Census, and voting in elections that will have major implications for our future. First up: the primaries! We want you to be prepared to vote, so we’re breaking down everything you need to know—like, uh, what is a primary even?

What is the primary election?

The March 3rd primary election is the first round of voting for the 2020 general election. During the primaries, you’ll vote for candidates to represent either the Democratic or Republican party in the November election. Both the primary and general elections include Federal, State, and County races.

The winner of each race for each party will proceed to the general election in November. If no candidate receives a majority of the vote in the primary, the two candidates receiving the most votes will advance to a primary runoff on May 26th. (Voters can vote in a runoff even if they didn’t vote in the primary.)

What will be on the ballot?

The primary and general midterm elections include Federal, State, and County races. When you vote in the primary, you’ll be asked if you want a Democratic or Republican ballot and will only vote on candidates from that party.

•  Federal: US President, US Senator, and US Representative
•  State: Railroad Commissioner, State Supreme Court Justices, Judges of the Court of Criminal Appeals, Justices of the Court of Appeals, District Judges, State Senator, and State Representative
•  State: Railroad Commissioner, State Supreme Court Justices, Judges of the Court of Criminal Appeals, Justices of the Court of Appeals, District Judges, State Senator, and State Representative

You can find out more about the candidates and their stances at Vote411.org.

You will also vote on propositions drafted by the party. These yes/no questions will help shape the party platforms and inform party leadership—they are not amendments to the Constitution or any laws. See your individual sample ballot.

Do I get to choose a Democratic or Republican ballot?

Yes—you can choose your party ballot when you go to vote. Your party affiliation and voting history don’t matter. When you vote in the general election in November, you don’t have to vote for the same candidates or party. (While there are other political parties, the Democratic and Republican parties are the only parties holding Texas primaries.)

When is the 2018 primary election?

Election Day is Tuesday, March 3rd, 2020. Election Day voting hours are 7:00 am – 7:00 pm. The Early Voting period for the 2018 primary election is Tuesday, February 18th – Friday, February 28th.

Early voting hours:

• Tuesday, February 18th – Friday, February 21st: 8:00 am – 6:00 pm
• Saturday, February 22nd: 8:00 am – 8:00 pm
• Sunday, February 23rd: 12:00 pm – 6:00 pm
• Monday, February 24th – Friday, February 28th: 8:00 am – 8:00 pm

Where do I vote?

During Early Voting, you can vote at any Early Voting location. On Election Day, you can vote at any Election Day polling site. This is new as of last year! Just keep in mind that locations will differ between Early Voting and Election Day. Check the Bexar County Elections site for Election Day locations prior to March 3rd.

What do I need to bring?

The short answer: if you have a Texas or US photo identification (can be expired up to 4 years), bring that. The long answer: if you don’t have government-issued photo identification available, you can show another form of identification and sign a verified declaration at your polling place. See more details here.

How do I register to vote?

The deadline to register to vote in the March 3rd primary has already passed, but you can register now to be eligible to vote in the general November 3rd election! Click here to get a voter registration application. Click here to find out if you’re already registered.

What if my voter information doesn’t match my identification?

The address on your identification does NOT have to match your address on your voter registration information. If your name does not exactly match your name on your voter registration information, election officials will review your identification, and if your name is “substantially similar,” you’ll be allowed to vote (but required to submit an affidavit stating you are the same person on the official list of voters).

What if I can’t vote in person?

If you won’t be in Bexar County for Early Voting or Election Day; are 65 years or older; are disabled; or confined in jail but otherwise eligible to vote, you can vote early by mail. Applications must be received by February 21st. Mail-in ballots must be received by 7:00 pm on March 3rd (or by 5:00 pm on March 4th if postmarked by 7:00 pm on March 3rd). 

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