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There is no presidential election this year, but this year’s Election Day, Nov. 8, will define the future of Texas.
Texans can cast their ballots for the state’s top leaders — governor, attorney general, lieutenant governor — and several other statewide elected officials in the midterm elections, as well as district-based representatives in the United States Congress, the Texas Legislature and the State Board of Education. Judges from the state’s top courts to county courts are also on the ballot. Some Texas communities will also hold local elections for school board, city or county seats and local initiatives.
Voting FAQ: 2022 midterms
How do I know if I'm registered to vote?
The deadline to register to vote in the 2022 primary election was Oct. 11. Check if you’re registered to vote here.
When can I vote?
Election day is Nov. 8. Early voting ended Nov. 4.
How do I know if I qualify to vote by mail?
This option is fairly limited in Texas. You’re allowed to vote by mail only if: You will be 65 or older by Election Day, you will not be in your county for the entire span of voting, including early voting, you cite a sickness or disability that prevents you from voting in person without needing personal assistance or without the likelihood of injuring your health, you’re expected to give birth within three weeks before or after Election Day or you are confined in jail but otherwise eligible (i.e., not convicted of a felony).
Are polling locations the same on election day as they are during early voting?
Not always. You’ll want to check for open polling locations with your local elections office before you head out to vote. Additionally, you can confirm with your county elections office whether election day voting is restricted to locations in your designated precinct or if you can cast a ballot at any polling place.
How can I find which polling places are near me?
County election offices are supposed to post on their websites information on polling locations for Election Day and during the early-voting period by Oct. 18. The secretary of state’s website will also have information on polling locations closer to the start of voting. However, polling locations may change, so be sure to check your county’s election website before going to vote.
What form of ID do I need to bring to vote?
You’ll need one of seven types of valid photo ID to vote in Texas: A state driver’s license, a Texas election identification certificate, a Texas personal identification card, a Texas license to carry a handgun, a U.S. military ID card with a personal photo, a U.S. citizenship certificate with a personal photo or a U.S. passport. Voters can still cast votes without those IDs if they sign a form swearing that they have a “reasonable impediment” from obtaining a proper photo ID or use a provisional ballot. Find more details here.
What can I do if I have trouble voting?
You can contact your county elections official or call the Texas Secretary of State's helpline at 1-800-252-VOTE (8683). A coalition of voting rights groups is also helping voters navigate election concerns through the 866-OUR-VOTE (687-8683) voter-protection helpline. The coalition also has hotlines available in other languages and for Texans with disabilities.
These elected officials have a say in how much Texans pay in taxes, what students learn in public schools, what health care — including reproductive health care — is available and many more facets of people’s lives.
Want to have a say in Texas government and politics? Here’s what you need to know about voting and results on Election Day.
When and where can I vote?
Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. local time on Election Day. If you registered to vote by Oct. 11 and meet all other requirements, you have a right to cast a ballot as long as you’re in line at a polling location by 7 p.m.
On Election Day, some counties may require you to vote at a location specific to your precinct, which can be found on your voter registration certificate or by checking your registration online.
You can find a list of counties where voters can vote at any county polling location on Election Day from the Texas secretary of state’s office.
What you can expect from our elections coverage
How we explain voting
We explain the voting process with election-specific voter guides to help Texans learn what is on the ballot and how to vote. We interview voters, election administrators and election law experts so that we can explain the process, barriers to participation and what happens after the vote is over and the counting begins. Read more here.
How readers inform our work
Instead of letting only politicians set the agenda, we talk to voters and scrutinize polling data to understand ordinary Texans’ top concerns. Our readers’ questions and needs help inform our priorities. We want to hear from readers: What do you better want to understand about the election process in Texas? If local, state or congressional elected officials were to successfully address one issue right now, what would you want it to be? What’s at stake for you this election cycle? If we’re missing something, this is your chance to tell us.
How we hold officials accountable
We do not merely recount what politicians say, but focus on what they do (or fail to do) for the Texans they represent. We aim to provide historical, legal and other kinds of context so readers can understand and engage with an issue. Reporting on efforts that make voting and engaging in our democracy harder is a pillar of our accountability work. Read more here.
How we choose what races to cover
We aren’t able to closely cover all 150 races in the Texas House, 31 in the Texas Senate or 38 for the Texas delegation in the next U.S. House. We need to choose what races we cover closely by using our best judgment of what’s most noteworthy. We take into account factors like power, equity, interest and competitiveness in order to determine what warrants more resources and attention. Read more here.
How we cover misinformation
In reporting on falsehoods and exaggerations, we clearly explain why it is untrue and how it may harm Texans. Sometimes, we choose to not write about misinformation because that can help amplify it. We’re more likely to debunk falsehoods when they are spread by elected officials or used as a justification for policy decisions. Read more here.
You can also use the secretary of state’s website to see polling locations, but your county’s own information will be the most up to date. Find your county’s website here. You may also want to consider calling local elections officials to make sure a polling location hasn’t changed or closed.
Need transportation? The rideshare company Lyft will be providing discounted rides on Election Day. Use the VOTE22 code to get a discount of up to $10 during voting hours. Voters can also use it for bikeshare and scooter rides.
What do I need to vote?
You’ll need one of seven types of valid photo ID to vote in Texas:
- A state driver’s license (issued by the Texas Department of Public Safety).
- A Texas election identification certificate (issued by DPS).
- A Texas personal identification card (issued by DPS).
- A Texas license to carry a handgun (issued by DPS).
- A U.S. military ID card with a personal photo.
- A U.S. citizenship certificate with a personal photo.
- A U.S. passport.
If you don’t have an approved photo ID, you can still vote by signing a “reasonable impediment” form and presenting valid supporting identification documents, such as a birth certificate, your voter registration certificate or a current utility bill with your name and address.
If you forget your ID, you can cast a provisional ballot, which can be counted only if you provide the required photo ID or documents within six days.
If your voter registration shows up as “in suspense,” it means that officials are not sure of your address. But you may still be able to vote by filling out a “statement of residence” at the polls. If you moved and didn’t update your address by the Oct. 11 voter registration deadline, you may be able to vote at your previous polling location if it is within the same county or political subdivision.
If you’re voting by mail within the U.S., your ballot must be postmarked by 7 p.m. on Election Day and received by your county by 5 p.m. Wednesday in order to be counted. Read more about photo IDs, registration requirements and mail-in ballots in our voter guide here.
You can’t use your cellphone or have items advertising candidates, parties or measures on the ballot inside polling places, but you may be able to bring a sample ballot or written notes to help you cast your ballot.
Firearms, including handguns, are also prohibited at polling places, according to Texas law.
Remember to review your ballot for any possible errors. You can get up two additional ballots to make corrections. The incorrect ballots will not be counted.
Voters with disabilities or limited English proficiency can get interpretation, assistance or accommodations to vote. Read more about your rights as a voter in our guide to the polls.
If you run into trouble while voting, you can contact your county elections official, the secretary of state’s office at 1-800-252-VOTE (8683) or voter-protection hotlines from a coalition of voting rights groups. The coalition’s helpline in English is 866-OUR-VOTE (687-8683), and you can find phone numbers for the helpline in other languages here.
Can I vote in person if I requested a mail-in ballot?
The short answer is yes, if you are in Texas and the county where you're registered to vote. The process will be more streamlined if you bring your mail-in ballot with you to your polling place so you can surrender it before casting your vote. If you don’t have your ballot or never received it, you can still cast a provisional ballot. Your vote will be counted once the county determines it never received your mail-in ballot.
Voters who were looking to vote by mail because of a sickness or disability may also qualify to vote through curbside voting or an emergency ballot.
To request an emergency ballot, you must designate a representative to submit an application in person on your behalf and have a certified doctor’s note. The application must be received by your county’s early voting clerk before 5 p.m. on Election Day, and your ballot must be returned by the same designated representative before 7 p.m. on Election Day to be counted.
Contact your county elections office to learn more about curbside voting and emergency ballots.
What’s on the ballot?
You’ll likely have a long ballot. You can enter your address into our ballot lookup tool to see who you can vote for in congressional, state and district-based elections. (Don’t worry: We don’t store your information.)
Need a refresher on who’s running for office in statewide elections, such as for lieutenant governor, comptroller and railroad commissioner, and what powers these elected offices hold? We have a glossary of statewide elected offices with information about the candidates on the ballot this year.
We also have stories about the elections for the Texas Supreme Court, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals and the State Board of Education.
What about local elections? We can’t cover elections across the state’s 254 counties, but we have a guide to navigating elections and vetting candidates for county and school board seats. You can also find local election guides in our ballot lookup tool in our voting guide.
To see who’s on the ballot for local elections in your area, look up a sample ballot on your county’s website or on the website Vote411.org from the League of Women Voters.
When and where can I find election results?
For federal, district and state elections, you can find results on our results page. In addition to the tally and percentage of votes in each race, you can see a map of how Texas counties are voting in the gubernatorial and attorney general races and which party is winning seats in the Texas Legislature and in Congress.
The data is from our partner Decision Desk HQ, which gathers information from the Texas secretary of state’s office and a representative sample of 50 counties to provide estimates as to how many votes are left to be counted and to call the winners.
For local elections, you can find results on your county’s website. Find yours here.
Early-voting results, including from mail-in ballots received early, are typically shared online shortly after polls close at 7 p.m.
After polls close, counties must count results from each polling location within 24 hours of the polls closing. As those votes and more mail-in ballots are counted, those counts are added in increments to the tally, which is then updated online. This may take some time as polling places are closed down — after all eligible voters in line by 7 p.m. have voted — and election materials are transported back to county election officials.
But the results from election night are unofficial because officials must still account for late-arriving mail-in ballots, ballots from military or overseas voters and provisional ballots, which must be verified and counted by Nov. 21. County leaders must finalize the results by Nov. 22, and the state must then review the results for the governor to certify them by Dec. 12.
Learn more about the vote counting process in our look at Texas election safeguards here.
Alexa Ura contributed to this report.
Disclosure: Lyft and Texas Secretary of State have been financial supporters of The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan news organization that is funded in part by donations from members, foundations and corporate sponsors. Financial supporters play no role in the Tribune's journalism. Find a complete list of them here.
The Texas Tribune is a nonprofit statewide news organization dedicated to keeping Texans informed on politics and policy issues that impact their communities. This election season, Texans around the state will turn to The Texas Tribune for the information they need on voting, election results, analysis of key races and more. Get the latest.