to register to vote
for counties to receive mail-in ballot requests
until early voting starts
Early voting ends Oct. 30
until Election Day
Texas voters turned out in record numbers for the 2020 general election. Early voting in the state ran from Oct. 13 to Oct. 30, and Election Day nationwide was Nov. 3.
View our Texas 2020 election results —most results in Texas are complete, except for overseas and provisional ballots. Counties have until Nov. 17 to complete a final canvass of votes.
If you enter your address below, we’ll customize this page for you. (Don’t worry, we won’t store your information.) You’ll be able to view the candidates you can vote for and who to contact if you have more questions.
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How will voting be different because of the pandemic?
In general, polling locations will have guidelines in place for social distancing and regular cleaning. Several counties will offer pens or other devices so voters avoid direct contact with election machines. Poll workers will likely be wearing face masks and other protective equipment, but masks will not be required for voters, though health officials still recommend wearing masks. (Most Texas counties remain under a statewide order to wear face masks in businesses or other buildings open to the public, as well as outdoor public spaces, whenever social distancing is not possible.)
What precautions should I take?
The Texas secretary of state’s office has provided a checklist of health protocols for voters, including:
- Maintain six feet of separation from others, especially from individuals age 65 and older.
- Self-screen for any new or worsening signs or possible symptoms of COVID-19.
Symptoms include coughing, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, a headache, a sore throat, a loss of taste or smell, diarrhea, feeling feverish or a measured temperature greater than or equal to 100 degrees, or known close contact with a person who is lab-confirmed to have COVID-19.
- Utilize curbside voting if you’re exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms and are eligible.
Contact your county elections office about the curbside voting process and to determine eligibility.
- Bring your own pen, pencil with eraser or stylus and hand sanitizer.
Contact your county elections office to determine what marking devices are appropriate.
- Wash or disinfect hands upon entering and leaving a polling station, as well as after any interaction with people or voting equipment.
- Consider wearing a cloth face covering or face mask if available.
Be prepared to lower or remove your face covering when checking in at a polling place if the election judge is unable to determine your identity while verifying your photo ID.
- If you contract COVID-19 or another sickness that prevents you from appearing at the polling place after the deadline to submit an application for a ballot by mail, contact your county election officer. You may be able to submit an “Application for Emergency Early Voting Ballot Due to Sickness or Physical Disability.”
Click here for a more detailed checklist and list of COVID-19 symptoms.
Can I still vote if I have been diagnosed with COVID-19?
If you have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or are exhibiting symptoms, consider requesting an emergency mail-in ballot or using curbside voting.
Tell us your voting story
Have you run into hurdles or problems while trying to vote in Texas? We want your help in reporting on those challenges. Learn more.
Emergency mail-in ballot: Emergency mail-in ballots can be requested in person on or after the third day before the election and until 5 p.m. on Election Day. To qualify, you must have a certified doctor’s note. Your ballot must be returned by 7 p.m. on Election Day to be counted. Contact your county elections office for more details about an emergency mail-in ballot due to sickness or disability.
Curbside voting: You should contact your county elections office to determine if you’re eligible for curbside voting. When you head out to vote, be sure to call the office ahead of time to let them know you are coming.
What dates do I need to know?
The last day to register to vote was Oct. 5.
Is there a way to confirm whether I’m registered to vote?
The Texas secretary of state’s website will tell you whether you’re registered if you log in using one of these three ways:
- Providing your Texas driver’s license number and date of birth
- Providing your first and last names, date of birth and what county you reside in
- Providing your date of birth and Voter Unique Identifier, which appears on your voter registration certificate
Check if you’re registered to vote here.
How can I register to vote?
Texans need to fill out a voter registration application at least 30 days before the election. You can request the application through the mail or find one at county voter registrars’ offices, post offices, government offices or high schools. While you can’t register online to vote in Texas, you can print out the online application and mail it to the voter registrar in your county. Applications had to be postmarked by the Oct. 5 deadline. Download your application here.
The last day to apply for a ballot by mail was Oct. 23. The deadline for mail-in ballots to be returned to the county was Nov. 3.
When do I need to drop off or mail an application?
Applications had to be dropped off in person at your county elections office before the start of early voting, which began Oct. 13 for the general election. Mailed applications had to be received by the early voting clerk in your county by Oct. 23.
(Applications can also be submitted by fax or email, but the county must receive a hard copy within four business days.)
When do I need to mail my ballot by?
The deadline for mail-in ballots to be returned to the county was Election Day, which was Nov. 3. If they’re postmarked by 7 p.m. that day, they’ll be counted if they’re received by the county on Nov. 4 by 5 p.m.
The U.S. Postal Service recommends that Texans ask for mail-in ballots no later than 15 days ahead of that due date and that they drop completed ballots in the mail a week before the deadline.
For this election, absentee ballots can also be delivered to the county clerk’s office in person with a valid form of ID as soon as they’re completed and before the close of voting on Election Day. You should reach out to your county to find out when and where your county is allowing ballot drop-offs.
Completed ballots from military or overseas voters are accepted if they're received by Nov. 9. (Those voters go through a different ballot request and return process.)
Check out this story for more details about mail-in voting. We recommend that you contact your county elections office or check the county website for county-specific questions.
Early voting ran from Oct. 13 to Oct. 30.
Where am I allowed to vote early?
Voters could cast ballots at any polling location in the county where they are registered to vote. Early voting locations can be found on the Texas secretary of state’s website.
Who is eligible to vote early?
Anyone who is registered to vote may vote early, but it must be done in person unless you qualify to vote by mail.
Election Day was Nov. 3.
Are polling locations the same on Election Day as they are during early voting?
Not always. It’s recommended to check the open polling locations in your area before you head to cast your ballot. In some counties, Election Day voting may be restricted to locations in your designated precinct. Other counties allow voters to cast their ballot at any polling place on Election Day.
What do I need to know about mail-in voting?
How do I know if I’m eligible to vote by mail?
You are only allowed to vote by mail for one of the following four reasons:
- You will not be in your county Nov. 3 (Election Day) or the entire span of early voting.
- You have a sickness or disability that prevents you from voting in person without needing personal assistance or without the likelihood of injuring your health.
- You will be 65 years old or older by Election Day.
- You are confined in jail but otherwise eligible (i.e., not convicted of a felony).
Does lack of immunity to COVID-19 qualify as a disability during the pandemic?
While a lack of immunity to COVID-19 alone does not allow a voter to request a ballot based on disability, the Texas Supreme Court ruled it was up to voters to decide if that lack of immunity combined with their medical history allows them to meet the state’s eligibility criteria.
Take note that the Texas election code’s definition for disability is broader than other federal definitions. A voter is eligible to vote by mail if they have a “sickness or physical condition” that prevents them from voting in person without the likelihood of “needing personal assistance or of injuring the voter's health.” It’s up to the voter to decide this, and election officials don’t have the authority to question a voter’s reasoning.
What do I need to know about going to the polls?
How can I find which polling places are near me?
The secretary of state’s website has information on polling locations for Election Day and during the early voting period. However, polling locations may change, so be sure to check your county’s election website before going to vote.
What form of ID do I need to bring?
You’ll need one of seven types of valid photo ID to vote in Texas:
- A state driver’s license (issued by the Texas Department of Public Safety)
- A Texas election identification certificate (issued by DPS)
- A Texas personal identification card (issued by DPS)
- A Texas license to carry a handgun (issued by DPS)
- A U.S. military ID card with a personal photo
- A U.S. citizenship certificate with a personal photo
- A U.S. passport
Check out this story for more details.
What if I don’t have a valid photo ID?
Voters can still cast votes if they sign a form swearing that they have a “reasonable impediment” from obtaining a proper photo ID. However, those voters will also have to present one of the following types of identification:
- A valid voter registration certificate
- A certified birth certificate
- A document confirming birth admissible in a court of law which establishes your identity (which may include a foreign birth document)
- A copy of or an original current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck or other document that shows the voter’s name and address. (Any government document that contains a voter’s photo must be an original.)
Can I wear campaign materials to the polls?
No. It’s a class C misdemeanor to wear campaign gear at polling locations, which constitutes electioneering in Texas (and most other states). According to Texas law, a person “may not electioneer for or against any candidate, measure, political party” within 100 feet of the voting site during early voting or on election day.
If you wear any partisan gear to the polls, you may be asked to turn your shirt inside out or put on a jacket. If you can’t — or won’t — cover up, you’ll be asked to come back and vote later. Learn more here.
Will there be straight-ticket voting?
This will be the first year that Texas does not allow for straight-ticket voting, an option that previously allowed voters to check one box to cast a ballot for every candidate from a single party.
The move to nix straight-ticket voting was championed by Republicans who say removing the option will force voters to make more informed decisions in individual elections, but opponents say it will disproportionately impact voters living in large counties — with more voters of color — where the ballot is longer. The new law was upheld after last-minute legal wrangling.
Expect to spend more time in the voting booth and prepare for longer lines at polling stations. The best way to avoid lines is to vote early in October.
Whom do I get to vote for?
All Texans’ ballots will include the presidential race and statewide races, but the rest of the contests will be determined by where you live. View our live Texas 2020 election results for updates as votes are counted.
If you shared your address, we’ll show you the races in which you get to participate and help you find a sample ballot. You can also view our roundup of all the candidates here.
We’ve highlighted the most interesting and competitive ★Races to Watch and whether the Democrats are trying to flip this race DEM TARGET or the Republicans are trying to flip this race GOP TARGET. See which districts are competitive based on the Tribune’s analysis of each district’s voting record in statewide elections.
Your district-level races
At the federal level, Texans are divided among 36 congressional districts. At the state level, Texans are divided into 150 House districts, 31 Senate districts and 15 State Board of Education districts. Your address determines your district — and who represents you. All congressional and Texas House districts are up for election this year, along with one U.S. Senate seat, several Texas Senate seats and eight State Board of Education seats.
Enter your address to see your district-level races.
Your local elections
Each of Texas’ 254 counties administers its own elections on races that range from county commissioner seats to district attorneys, so we don’t have a list of every local race on the ballot. However, information about what’s on the ballot in specific counties can be found on the list of county websites maintained by the Texas secretary of state’s office.
Voters typically can also find local ballot information or candidate listings on the websites for the nonpartisan League of Women Voters or their local newspapers or TV stations.
Your statewide races
Along with the U.S. presidential race and local appointments, the electoral ballots in Texas contain races for 10 statewide positions, including the race to determine who will represent the state in the U.S. Senate alongside Ted Cruz. The remaining races are for railroad commissioner and seven seats on the state’s two highest courts — the Supreme Court and the Court of Criminal Appeals.
Who can I contact with questions?
Your county elections office. You can enter your address and we’ll pull up the right contact information here. Otherwise, you’ll likely find the contact information on your county’s website — the Texas secretary of state’s office maintains a list of county websites.
Ask your county elections office about mail-in voting specifics, like whether the county is proactively sending applications for mail-in ballots to registered voters and when mail-in ballots will be sent out. Some counties are also paying postage required to return mail-in ballots, while others are not.
You can also call the Texas secretary of state at 1 (800) 252-8683 or send an email.
About the data
Historical election results and the shapes of the U.S. House, State Board of Education, Texas Senate and Texas House districts were provided by the Texas Legislative Council.
Candidate information and information regarding the voting process were sourced from the Texas secretary of state and through Texas Tribune research.
Correction: An earlier version of this story stated the wrong number of seats up for election on the state's two highest courts. It is seven, not eight.
Disclosure: The Texas secretary of state’s office has been a financial supporter of The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan news organization that is funded in part by donations from members, foundations and corporate sponsors. Financial supporters play no role in the Tribune's journalism. Find a complete list of them here.
Illustrations by Emily Albracht. Chris Essig contributed to this report.