For the first time in Harris County, the Republican and Democratic parties agreed to conduct a joint election during the March 5 primary election cycle.

Teneshia Hudspeth, Harris County's chief election official, said in a Jan. 14 news release the election day voting process will be the same one used when voting in the November election.

"I commend the chairs of each party and their executive committees for their due diligence in arriving at an accord that addresses the challenges presented by new legislation and best serves Republican and Democratic primary voters," Hudspeth said.

What's different?

This means the two political parties will together hold the election in common precincts.
  • Voters from both parties will be able to cast ballots using the same voting equipment on election day, according to county election officials.
More information on who's running for Houston-area state and congressional offices can be found here.

What happened?

Hudspeth discussed the challenges with conducting separate elections during the Jan. 9 Harris County Commissioners Court meeting, and how it would benefit both parties and taxpayers if both political parties agreed to a joint election.

"The political parties must open significantly more polling locations for their primaries, making it more challenging to conduct separate elections due to a lack of resources," Hudspeth said.

Since the passing of Senate Bill 1750 in the 88th legislative session last summer, Harris County's election responsibilities were no longer under the discretion of the Harris County elections administrator since SB 1750 eliminated the elections administrator’s office. Election oversight was transferred to the county tax assessor-collector and county clerk’s office.

Looking ahead

Early voting centers will be open Feb. 20-March 1.