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Early Voting is Here — Use Our Election Brackets to Help You Get Ready

Monday is the first day of early voting for Texas' May 29 primary. Our election brackets can help you prepare for voting on the various legislative and congressional races.

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Maybe you just voted in your city elections, but it's not over. The delayed Democratic and Republican party primaries are now upon us. After the sputtering stops and starts of redistricting, of delays in election dates from March to April and finally from April to this month, Monday is the first day of early voting for the May 29 primary.

Our election brackets — lifted from the NCAA's March Madness basketball version — will help you in your research for voting in the primary. You can mark off the races you're interested in (click on "Save this race" on the contests you want) and compile your own list. Or you can use our app to look only at the districts or races that share your ZIP code. It's not exact, because politicians regularly draw neighbors into separate political districts, but it'll shorten the list for you. 

Election Day is on the Tuesday after the three-day Memorial Day weekend. Because school ends in most of the state's districts that week and families will be turning their attention to their summer plans — and also because the attention-grabbing primary battle in the presidential race is over — most election experts are predicting low turnout. 

They're also watching a slow trend in Texas politics: The size of the early vote in some elections exceeds the size of the vote on election day.

For campaigns, that means advertising and door-knocking and phone-calling is already well under way. Waiting until right before the election means missing half or more of the people who actually vote. 

But it makes voting more convenient, and it gives voters a chance to tell those political people on the phone and at the door to move along — that they've already voted.

The weird timing and the expected low turnout has another odd effect, turning everyone who actually votes into a kind of super-voter.  

In the 2010 primaries, a candidate needed only one of every 25 adult Texans to win the Republican primary. It took 742,271 votes to prevail in that primary, and there were 18.8 million people of voting age in the state. The Democratic primary was even more anemic, requiring 340,275 votes, or less than one adult in 50, to win.

Think of yourself as 25 Republicans, or 50 Democrats, and have at it. 

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2012 elections