Here is what Travis County residents need to know about casting a ballot in the March 6 primary election

Early voting for the March 6 primary election begins Feb. 20. Here is what you need to know about the upcoming election.

Early voting for the March 6 primary election begins Feb. 20. Here is what you need to know about the upcoming election.

Travis County is gearing up for the March 6 primary election, where voters will cast a ballot for races ranging from local seat races, such as county judge, county commissioner and county clerk, to statewide seat races, such as governor, state representative and land commissioner.
County Clerk Dana DeBeauvoir is anticipating about a 20 percent turnout and estimated the election to cost about $1.14 million.
Here is what else you need to know about voting in the March 6 primary election.

What is a primary election?
This preliminary candidate selection process is conducted in two separate elections—Democratic and Republican. DeBeauvoir said voters will select one candidate in each race to represent the party. The elected candidate will appear on the ballot in November.

How do I vote in a primary election?
Although this is a joint primary election, an election housed together, voters will have to pick a party election to participate in. DeBeauvoir said in Texas, voters can only choose one party election to vote in. Once a party affiliation is declared, voters will only have the opportunity to vote for the candidates on that particular party ballot. If a runoff election occurs, the party affiliation selected in the primary election remains the same.

How is a candidate selected in a primary election?
DeBeauvoir said candidates are selected by a majority win. A candidate must receive 50 percent of the vote plus one additional vote in order to secure a spot on the November ballot. In races where neither candidate receives a majority vote, the top two candidates will proceed to the runoff election in May.

When does voting take place?
Early voting runs Feb. 20-March 2. Election day is March 6. If needed, a runoff election will be held May 22.

Where can I go to vote?
DeBeauvoir said the county will open 30 locations for early voting and 158 voting centers for election day. The Travis County elections website also monitors polling location traffic, where voters can find a location that works for their schedule and has the shortest wait times. Here is where you can go to vote on Election Day in Travis County.

How do I know if I am registered to vote?
Visit the Vote Travis website and fill out the voter lookup section to find out if you are registered to vote, DeBeauvoir said. Residents can also contact the Travis County Registrar’s Office to find out if they are registered.

Who is on the ballot?
Candidates at the local level and state level will appear on the ballot. Races include the governor’s race, county judge and commissioners, state representatives and court judges, to name a few. Party officers and propositions will also appear on the ballot, DeBeauvoir said.

How do I find out more about the candidates and propositions?
The Texas Tribune and Community Impact Newspaper are following the 2018 races closely. Sign up for The Brief from The Texas Tribune for a daily rundown of election and government news in your inbox.

What form of ID do I need in order to cast a vote?
DeBeauvoir said there is an extended list of photo IDs voters can use to prove residency. Accepted forms of ID include:
• A Texas Department of Public Safety or DPS issued photo ID—driver’s license or a personal photo identification card
• A Texas handgun license
• A U.S. passport
• A U.S. military photo ID card

What if I do not have one of the approved forms of ID?
Voters who do not have any of the approved forms of ID can still cast a ballot using other approved documents that prove residency, DeBeauvoir said. Two nonphoto ID forms must be presented. Here are some other types of forms voters can use:
• Copy or original of a lease document, library card, utility bill, paycheck and more that shows the voter’s name and address.
• Certified birth certificate
• Valid voter registration certificate


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