Election Day is Tuesday and there are several important local and state races on the ballot, along with the nationwide battles to determine which party will control Congress.
This voter guide will help you through the process.
Here's what to know:
- Getting a ballot
- Voter ID
- What's on your ballot
- Make sure your vote is counted
METRO is providing free rides to and from voting locations for the first week of early voting and on Election Day, November 8. More details here.
How do I check if I'm registered to vote?
Anyone can check their registration in less than two minutes through the Texas Secretary of State. All you need is your name, county and date of birth. It's really that easy.
Specifically, for Harris County, you can verify your voter registration information on HarrisVotes.org. Simply click on "Voter Registration," then select "Voter Registration Search." By inputting your name or address, you can find your voter registration record.
Chapter 1: Key dates
Here are the key dates for the election.
Oct. 11 : Last day to register to vote in November Oct. 24 : First day of early voting Oct. 28 : Application to apply for a mail-in ballot must be received, not just postmarked Nov. 4 : Last day of early voting
Nov. 8: Election Day; mail-in ballots must be received by 7 p.m. or by 5 p.m. on Nov. 9 if they are postmarked by 7 p.m. on Nov. 8
Check voting wait times
Long lines are to be expected on Election Day. There is an easy way to check the wait time at voting locations in your neighborhood.
HarrisVotes.com estimates the wait time and length of the line at the polls in your city, town, or ZIP code in Harris County. There are locations across the county for Election Day.
While some locations have long lines, there could be others close by that do not. Time of day and day of the week can influence wait time and line length, so check other smaller locations around your intended polling location
Here's how you can check wait times at Harris County locations. Keep hitting 'next 50' to see all of the voting locations for tomorrow.
Fort Bend County does not have wait time listed on its site but here is where you can find Election Day poll locations.
Chapter 2: Getting a ballot
Who can vote by mail in Texas?
If you plan to vote by mail, you must meet certain criteria to qualify.
- You are 65 years or older on Election Day
- You are sick or disabled
- You will be out of your county during the early voting period and on Election Day
- You are expected to give birth within three weeks before or after Election Day
- You are confined in jail, but otherwise eligible
During the March Primary, nearly 7,000 mail-in ballots were rejected. The numbers were better in May, but in November, more people are likely to vote.
The Harris County Elections Office says changes were made to make the process easier and hopefully cut back on the number of rejected ballots.
While the county is trying to simplify the process, the state has made it more difficult, according to the Director of Communications and Voter Outreach at Harris County Elections Leah Shah said.
“You’re now required to fill out a Texas ID number or the last four digits of your Social Security Number. That was not previously a requirement," Shah said.
If you have any questions about the mail-in ballot process click here.
Chapter 3: Voter ID requirements
If you've confirmed you are registered, but don't have or never received your voter registration card, here's what you need to know. Under Texas law, voters can use one of the seven acceptable forms of photo identification at the polls when voting in person.
- Texas driver's license issued by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS)
- Texas election identification certificate issued by DPS
- Texas personal identification card issued by DPS
- Texas handgun license issued by DPS
- United States Military ID card with photo
- United States citizenship certificate with photo
- United States passport (book or card)
Voters who don't have and can't "reasonably obtain" one of the seven approved forms of photo ID may fill out a Reasonable Impediment Declaration (RID) (PDF) at the polls and present an alternative form of ID, such as a utility bill, bank statement, government check or a voter registration certificate.
Chapter 4: What's on your ballot
The 2022 midterm election includes races for:
In Harris County, the race for Harris County Judge has incumbent Lina Hidalgo against challenger Alexandra Mealer. There are also county judge races in Ft. Bend, Brazoria, Galveston, San Jacinto and Walker Counties.
Sample ballots and polling places
Fort Bend County
Chapter 5: Tracking your ballot
Once you’ve sent your ballot by mail to your county’s early voting clerk, you can check the status of your mail-in ballot through our Ballot by Mail Tracker, available on the Texas Secretary of State’s ‘My Voter Portal.’
To track your mail-in ballot, you must enter the following information:
- First Name
- Last Name
- Date of Birth
- The last 4 digits of your Social Security Number
- Your Driver’s License or Department of Public Safety Personal ID number
- Your residential address (must appear exactly as listed on your voter registration record. To look up the address listed on your voter registration record, use the ‘Am I Registered?’ tool)
- ZIP code
How to correct a defect on your application for ballot by mail
If you received a notice (PDF) that your ABBM was rejected because you did not provide an identification number or the number included on your ABBM did not match one of the numbers associated with your voter registration record, you may correct the defect online through the Texas Secretary of State's Ballot by Mail Tracker. When you log in to the Ballot by Mail Tracker, you will be prompted to enter your personal identification number(s). Once your personal identification number is validated by the Mail Ballot Tracker, the Application for a Ballot by Mail you previously submitted will be processed.
To utilize the Ballot by Mail Tracker, you must enter:
- Your Texas Driver’s License Number or Texas Personal Identification Number, AND
- The last four digits of your social security number
- Your residence address as listed in your voter registration record
If you received a notice that your ABBM was rejected for another reason, you may be able to cure the defect by submitting a new ABBM (PDF) to your county's Early Voting Clerk with the corrected information.
To confirm your information as listed on your voter registration record be sure to visit the 'Am I Registered?' tool on the Texas Secretary of State's My Voter Portal.
If you have specific questions about your registration or the status of your Application for Ballot by Mail, you should contact your county.
**NOTE: You can also use the process above to add or correct identification information on your mail ballot carrier envelope (PDF).
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