Election Day is Tuesday for the Texas primary elections.
With the end of early voting last week, 16,129 people in Potter and Randall counties have already cast their ballot. That’s nearly 12 percent of the registered voters in the two-county area.
If you haven’t yet cast a vote, here’s everything you need to know before going to the polls.
Where can I vote?
Voting locations are no longer based on precinct, so eligible voters in Potter and Randall counties can vote at any of the 29 locations on election day — as long as it is in the county they live in.
Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. in both counties.
Of note for Randall County voters: The Randall County Annex, a popular spot for Amarillo voters who reside in Randall County, has moved from South Georgia Street to 4320 S. Western St.
The deadline to register to vote in this election has already passed. If you are unsure of your registration status, you can check by entering your name, birth date, zip code and county of residence at votetexas.gov.
What do I need to bring to vote?
Texas has voter identification laws that can be confusing. To cast a ballot, you must present one of seven types of government-issued photo ID at the polls:
- 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 license to carry a handgun issued by DPS
- U.S. military identification card containing the person’s photograph
- U.S. citizenship certificate containing the person’s photograph
- U.S. passport
What if I don’t have one of those IDs?
Those without an acceptable form of ID, or a reasonable way to obtain one, can declare a “reasonable impediment” and still cast a ballot.
To do that, you must fill out a form declaring the impediment — which can include lack of transportation or a disability or illness — and present a supporting form of ID:
- Valid voter registration certificate
- Certified birth certificate
- Copy of or original of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck government document with your name and an address (original required if it contains a photograph)
Can I vote for either party?
Voters don’t have to declare a party affiliation in advance and can decide on Election Day if they want to vote in the Republican or Democratic primary election.
You can only vote in one party’s election and can only vote in that same party’s runoff elections if there are any.
A runoff happens if no candidate receives a majority of the vote in a primary race. If no one gets at least 50 percent of the vote plus one more vote, the top two-vote getters will face off in another election on May 22.
Voters don’t have to vote for the same party in the general election in November.
Elections officials expect at least one runoff this year given a nine-way Democratic race for governor.
Three- and four-way Republican races for judge in Potter and Randall counties could also spark runoffs for local office.
Who’s on the ballot?
Races for U.S. Senate top both the Republican and Democratic ticket. Incumbent Sen. Ted Cruz, a Republican, and his most visible Democratic challenger, Beto O’Rourke, a congressman from El Paso, are expected to win their respective primaries.
Gov. Greg Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, both Republicans, are among state executive branch officials making contested re-election bids.
Lower on the ballot are races for the Texas Legislature. State Sen. Kel Seliger, a Republican, is running against Amarillo restaurateur Victor Leal and Mike Canon, a former mayor of Midland. Seliger’s massive, 37-county Senate district includes the Texas Panhandle and Permian Basin.
State Rep. Four Price — who represents Potter, Sherman, Moore, Carson and Hutchinson counties — is facing Drew Brassfield, Fritch city manager, in the Republican primary.
For local offices, all the action is in the GOP primary. Eight contested races in the Potter-Randall area will essentially be decided in the Republican primary because there are no Democrats running.
Potter County voters are picking two county court-at-law judgeships, a district court judgeship, Precinct 2 justice of the peace and district clerk. Residents in Randall County are voting on a county commissioner seat, a county court-at-law judgeship and county clerk.