There are an estimated 1.3 million registered voters countywide as of Jan. 23, according to the Dallas County Elections Office. The county’s historical records show 1.2 million Dallas County residents were registered to vote in the last presidential primary.
The March 3 primary election will determine which candidates will appear on the general election ballot in November. This year’s primary pits incumbent Republican President Donald J. Trump against a slew of Democratic candidates. Several Republican candidates have also stepped up to challenge Trump.
Also included in the election are candidates for the House of Representatives at both the federal and state level. Registered voters in Dallas County can vote on the sheriff, Precincts 1 and 3 commissioners, and several district judges. For a complete list of candidates in the primary, visit this page.
Voter turnout in primaries is typically lower than during general elections. During the 2016 primary, 14.44% of registered voters in Dallas County turned out to vote in the Republican primary. Democrats saw an even lower turnout rate at 13.18% of registered voters.
The number of registered voters in Dallas County increased by 81,119 people between the primary election and the general election in 2016. Turnout also increased, with 59.42% of registered voters showing up to vote in November.
Those who wish to cast ballots in the primary must register to vote by Feb. 3. In Texas, a registered voter is not required to affiliate with a particular party before voting in that party’s primary election, according to the Texas Secretary of State’s office.
However, once a voter has voted in a particular party’s primary, they cannot vote in the opposite party’s runoff election. Party affiliations automatically expire at the end of each calendar year, according to the Secretary of State’s office.
Dallas County residents can check their registration status by visiting this site. For more information on party affiliation rules, click here. For frequently asked questions about the March 3 primary, click here.