2018 Texas Election Information
That Time of Year Has Come Again!
For Texas, March 6th, marks the primary for 2018 election cycle and with it comes a slew of candidates and platforms to review in order to be an informed voter. More official information on that process can be found here. If you are reading this article today and have not registered then you have already missed the submission deadline. While you may miss out on voting in the primaries, still register now so you will be eligible for the November elections when officials will be elected.
Also, note that early voting in Texas starts on February 20th and if needed, run off elections will be held on May 22nd. Note that run-offs are held if no primary candidate gets the majority of the votes. Then the two candidates with the largest plurality will continue to the run-off to determine the nominee via who gets the majority of the vote.
Lastly, you can only vote in one primary or convention. Texas has an open primary system to where a voter can choose which primary to vote in but affirm that they will not vote in another party's primary that year. In order to vote, you need to register to vote in the state of Texas.
Democratic US Senate Candidate Beto O'Rourke
What is on the ballot?
Various key state and federal positions are up for grabs from the governor to Ted Cruz's senate seat and all the US representative seats. There has been a fair amount of buzz in particular for the US Senate seat that Ted Cruz holds currently.
However, there are a lot more than just state offices on the ballot.There are 254 counties in Texas and with several local elections taking place as well which arguably have more impact on your daily lives than anything happening at a Federal level.
To determine what is on the ballot search for your local county's voter registrar or clerk website. For my county, Harris County, you can see a sample ballot on their website if you type your voter ID number or your name and address. In my case, if I was to vote as a Republican there are roughly 90 elected positions on the ballot and 9 proposition proposals for party platforms as well.
Researching who to vote for can be quite daunting. One excellent resource are the voter guides that the League of Women Voter's puts out. Here is the version for the Houston area and Austin area. The Texas Tribune has a pretty extensive list of the Republican and Democratic candidates running in Texas for the primaries. The Houston Chronicle also has a list of recommendations and endorsements. Overall, if you don't know anything about the candidates there are several resources online that can be used as tools.
Keep in mind only the Republican and Democratic party have primaries. The Libertarian candidates are determined during the Libertarian state convention. This will be held on April 13th through the 15th at the Hilton Houston Westchase in Houston, Texas. Delegates will determine the selection of the candidate. More information can be found at the convention website.
Likewise, the Texas Green Party has a nominating convention as well. That location is still to be determined but it will be hosted on April 14th in the Houston area. More information can be found at the convention website.
Republican, Democratic, Libertarian, and Green are the only recognized political parties in Texas.However, there are individuals running as Independents this election cycle.
Incumbent Republican Governor Greg Abbott
The Texas General election will be held on November 6th, 2018. Voters must register at least 30 days prior to the election to be eligible to vote. On election day, a passport, driver's license, or other government issued photo ID will be required to vote.
In the last election wave in 2016, Texas had an abysmal turn out with only 21.5% of eligible voters turning out for the primary beating out only Louisiana. For a non-presidential election year, it is anticipated that the turn out will be even less this year.
More information about the general election to come in this article following the primaries and nominating conventions.