Details on early voting and fast facts about runoffs

Elections 2016 Card with Bokeh BackgroundEarly voting takes place next week for Republican and Democratic primary elections that resulted in a runoff. Early voting runs from Monday, May 16, through Friday, May 20. Runoff election day is Tuesday, May 24. Early voting is a convenient way to avoid the hassle of trying to get to the polls on election day. Unlike election day voting, early voters do not have to vote at their assigned precinct location. Simply go to any early voting location in your county to cast your ballot.

2016 Primary Election Runoffs:

  • SBOE District 6: Jasmine Jenkins (D) vs. R. Dakota Carter (D)
  • Senate District 24: Susan King (R) vs. Dawn Buckingham (R)
  • House District 27: Ron Reynolds (D) vs. Angelique Bartholomew (D)
  • House District 120: Barbara Gervin-Hawkins (D) vs. Mario Salas (D)
  • House District 128: Wayne Smith (R) vs. Briscoe Cain (R)
  • House District 139: Kimberly Willis (D) vs. Jarvis Johnson (D)

Thanks to our friends at the TexasEducatorsVote.com coalition, the Texas Retired Teachers Association, and Texas Parent PAC who compiled early voting flyers for several of the runoff districts listed above. If your district’s polling places are not linked above, check your local newspaper, contact your local voter registrar’s office, or use the Texas Secretary of State’s “My Voter Page” to retrieve a customized list of polling locations with their hours and addresses.

Here are some other fast facts to help you be an informed voter in these important runoffs:

  • You must show valid photo identification in order to vote in Texas. Acceptable forms of ID include but are not limited to a valid Texas driver’s license, an Election Identification Certificate (EIC) issued by the Texas Department of Public Safety, a Texas license to carry a handgun license, a U.S. military ID card, or a U.S. passport.
  • In some circumstances, you may be eligible to vote early by mail. Applications for a mail-in ballot must be received no later than Friday, May 13 for the runoff elections; May 24 is the last day for mail-in ballots to be received.
  • To learn more about runoff candidates’ views on public education and backgrounds, search and view their profiles right here on Teach the Vote using our 2016 Races page.
  • Did you know that you can vote in a runoff even if you did not vote in the March 1 primary election? Learn more about runoff voting and who is eligible by reading our recent blog post.

Insider tip: The majority of contested elections in Texas are decided through the primary process, and not during the more highly publicized general elections held in November. The reason for this is the manner in which district maps and boundaries are drawn through the redistricting process; districts are shaped — some would say “gerrymandered” — in such a manner as to favor whichever political party is in power at that time. As a result, some races will only attract candidates from a single political party, meaning that the entire contest will be decided in March with no opposition on the ballot at all in November. In other races, there are candidates from different parties seeking the office, but the district maps so heavily favor one party over the other that it becomes almost a certainty that the race will be decided by a particular party’s primary election in March, rather than the general election in November. When multiple candidates from the same party compete in a particular race, there may be need for a runoff if no one candidate surpasses 50 percent of the vote. For several races headed to a runoff this month, the May 24 runoff election outcome will determine the ultimate winner of the seat.

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5 thoughts on “Details on early voting and fast facts about runoffs

  1. Pingback: Teach the Vote’s Week in Review: May 13, 2016 | Teach the Vote

    1. Jennifer Canaday Post author

      We recommend you use the Texas Secretary of State’s ”My Voter Page” link provided in our post above to retrieve a list of the polling places specific to your voter registration info. Let us know if you need any additional help and thanks in advance for voting!

      ATPE Governmental Relations

      Reply
  2. Pingback: Teach the Vote’s Week in Review: May 20, 2016 | Teach the Vote

  3. Pingback: Run-off Elections are Key to the Make-up of the Legislature | TEPSA Leadership Blog

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