Texans will go to the polls today to vote in the state's primary elections. With 95% of eligible voters registered to vote in Travis County — a record number — it’s likely more people will be heading to the polls this year than in the last election.
Travis County Clerk Dana DeBeauvoir says about 60% of voter turnout in the county happens during early voting — a trend she wants to see continue, so there won’t be long lines on Election Day. The county broke a record during early voting this year with about 116,000 votes.
Texas has open primaries, which means voters don't register with a party ahead of an election. Instead, voters choose which party's ballot they want at their polling place. They can't, however, vote in both the Republican and Democratic primaries in the same election.
Here’s everything you need to know before you vote.
Make Sure You’re Registered
Go here to verify your registration anywhere in the state.
You must vote at a location in the county where you live. Check out this map of Election Day voting locations in Travis County to find a location nearest you. Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Don’t Forget An ID
Bring a photo ID that is up to date, or expired up to four years, to the polls. Voters 70 or older can bring a photo ID that has been expired for any length of time.
If you had trouble getting an ID and just don’t have one, here are some alternatives:
- You can use your voter registration certificate as your form of identification.
- If you don’t have your registration card, you can bring any kind of official document – that’s anything that has your name and address on it — like a bank statement or utility bill. While you are at the voting location, you’ll have to sign a form that says you had a reasonable impediment to getting an ID.
If you didn’t vote in the last election, you may not be familiar with the new voting machines that some Central Texas counties introduced last year. The new ones in Travis and Williamson counties print a marked paper ballot.
Voters must scan and drop the ballot into the ballot box before they leave their voting center or their vote won’t be counted.
“Your ballot is not a receipt,” DeBeauvoir said. “It’s not a souvenir. It’s a real ballot that goes in the ballot box.”
This election, DeBeauvoir says, there will be changes to help Travis County voters navigate the system, like improved signage, as well as an election worker making sure people don’t mistakenly walk away with their paper ballot still in hand.
Watch this video we made ahead of the elections last November.
What’s On The Ballot?
Our voter guides outline which candidates are on the ballots in counties in Central Texas. Not sure which seats represent you? Find out here.
- Travis County: 2020 Primary Elections Voter Guide
- Williamson County: 2020 Primary Elections Voter Guide
- Hays County: 2020 Primary Elections Voter Guide
- Burnet County: 2020 Primary Elections Voter Guide
- Bastrop County: 2020 Primary Elections Voter Guide
- Lee County: 2020 Primary Elections Voter Guide
- Caldwell County: 2020 Primary Elections Voter Guide