Early voting in the March 5 primary election begins Feb. 20 and runs through March 1.

Because Texas is an open primary state, registered voters can choose to cast their ballots in either the Republican or Democratic primary. Voters do not need to register with a specific party.

In each race, the candidate that receives over 50% of the votes will advance to the Nov. 5 general election.

On the ballot

This year, Texans can cast their votes for the president, 15 Texas Senate seats and all seats in the U.S. and Texas Houses.

Eight statewide races will be on all voters’ ballots, including:
  • A U.S. Senate seat held by incumbent Ted Cruz
  • A seat on the Texas Railroad Commission, which regulates the oil and gas industry
  • Three seats on the Texas Supreme Court
  • Three seats on the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals
All eight seats are held by Republican incumbents who are running for re-election.

Local positions, such as sheriffs, county tax assessors, county commissioners and justices of the peace, will appear on the ballot in some communities. Click here for Community Impact’s local voter guide.

At the polls

During early voting, Texans can vote at any polling place in the county they reside in. Registered voters can search for polling places through the state’s voter portal or contact their local election clerk.

At the polls, voters must select which party’s primary they want to participate in.

Candidates who get the majority of the votes, or over 50%, in each primary race will advance to the November election. If no candidate wins the majority during a primary, the two candidates with the highest percentage of the votes will compete in a runoff election May 28.

Voters who participate in a primary election can only vote in the same party’s runoff election.

Over 17.9 million Texans are currently registered to vote, according to the secretary of state’s office.

What to bring

Voters must bring at least one of seven forms of identification to the polls:
  • A Texas driver license (issued by the Texas Department of Public Safety)
  • A Texas personal ID card (issued by the DPS)
  • A Texas handgun license (issued by the DPS)
  • A Texas election ID certificate (issued by the DPS)
  • A U.S. military ID card with the voter’s photograph
  • A U.S. citizenship certificate with the voter’s photograph
  • A U.S. passport
Texans without an approved ID can sign a “reasonable impediment declaration” at the polls and present an alternative form of identification, such as a birth certificate, a current utility bill or a paycheck.

Additional information about reasonable impediments and voter ID rules is available on the secretary of state’s website.

Voters can bring written materials, such as notes or sample ballots, to the polls. However, voters may not promote any candidate, political party or ballot item within 100 feet of the entrance to the polling place.

Cellphones and other wireless devices are also banned within 100 feet of voting stations.

Guns are not allowed at polling locations.

Accessibility at the polls

All Texas polling places must include accessible entrances and offer at least one type of accessible voting equipment, according to the secretary of state.

Voters may use an interpreter at the polls or request assistance reading and marking their ballots. Voters are not required to prove that they have a disability.

Under a recent Texas law, each polling location must provide at least one parking space for voters who cannot enter the building due to an illness, disability or injury. Voters with disabilities can also skip the line to cast their ballots. This law went into effect in June.

Voting by mail

Texans who plan to vote by mail must ensure their county clerk receives their application by Feb. 23. Registered voters can submit their applications in person, by mail, or by email or fax.

To vote by mail in Texas, you must be at least one of the following:
  • 65 years old or older
  • Sick or disabled
  • Expecting to give birth within three weeks before or after election day
  • Out of the county during early voting and on election day (including college students)
  • Confined in jail but otherwise eligible
Important dates
  • Feb. 20: Early voting begins
  • Feb. 23: Last day counties can receive applications to vote by mail
  • March 1: Early voting ends
  • March 5: Primary election day