Voting in Texas
Voting in 2014 Primaries
Ballot access for major and minor party candidates
Absentee voting • Early voting
Open Primary • Closed Primary • Blanket Primary
Online voter registration in the 50 states
To vote in Texas, you must meet the following requirements:
- be a U.S. citizen;
- be a resident of the county;
- be 18 years old (you may register at 17 years and 10 months);
- not a convicted felon (unless a person's sentence is completed, including any probation or parole)
- not declared mentally incapacitated by a court of law
When and where
Registration must be completed 28 days prior to the election. You can get a voter registration application at your library, any government office, or download one online. You will then be mailed a voter registration certificate or card with your name, address, and the number of the precinct in which you’ll vote.
As of July 2014, Texas is one of the 35 states that have not implemented online voter registration.
Voting on election day
Following registration to vote, voters will receive a voter registration certificate. The certificate should be presented to an election officer at the polling place. Additionally, all voters who registered to vote in Texas must provide a Texas driver's license number, personal identification number issued by the Texas Department of Public Safety or the last four digits of your social security number.
Note: Texas' new photo ID law takes effect after pre-clearance by the USDOJ. Pre-clearance was denied on March 13, 2012. A lawsuit was filed by the State of Texas. Hearings started July 9, 2012. Texas v. Holder, 12-00128, U.S. District Court, District of Columbia (Washington).
- See also: State Poll Opening and Closing Times
Texas is one of 21 states with a mixed primary system. Voters do not have to register with a party. At the primary, they may choose which party primary ballot to vote on, but in order to vote they must sign a pledge declaring they will not vote in another party's primary or convention that year.
- See also: Absentee voting
Voters are eligible to vote absentee in an election if they cannot make it to the polls on election day for one of the following reasons:
- The voter is away from his or her county on election day and during early voting.
- The voter is sick or disabled.
- The voter is 65 years of age or older on Election Day.
- The voter is confined in jail, but eligible to vote.
To vote absentee a request must be received by county elections office no earlier than 30 days prior to the election and no later than close of business seven days prior to the election. The ballot must then be returned by close of polls on election day.
Military and overseas voting
For full details, visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program here.
- See also: Early voting
Texas is one of 33 states that has early voting with no specific requirements as to who can vote early. Early voting begins the 17th day before an election and ends on the fourth day prior to Election Day. The average number of days prior to an election that voters can cast an early ballot is 21 days in states with a definitive starting date.
- Texas Secretary of State, "Request for Voter Registration Applications," accessed June 10, 2014
- VoteTexas.org, "ID Voter," accessed June 10, 2014
- Business Week, "Texas Photo-ID Law Vetted for Voter Bias in U.S. Trial," July 9, 2012
- Reuters, "Texas to test 1965 voting rights law in court," June 8, 2012
- Texas Secretary of State, "Texas Voting," accessed June 10, 2014
- VoteTexas.gov, "Who, What, Where, When, How," accessed January 3, 2014
- Fair Vote, "Congressional and Presidential Primaries: Open, Closed, Semi-Closed, and 'Top Two,'" accessed January 2, 2014
- Texas Statutes, "Section 172.086," accessed January 3, 2014
- VoteTexas.gov, "FAQ," accessed December 16, 2013
- VoteTexas.gov, "Early Voting," accessed December 16, 2013
- Long Distance Voter, "Early Voting Rules: Delaware," accessed December 18, 2013