Every Vote Counts, Even in Off-Year Elections
Not registered to vote? Visit VoteTexas.gov to get registered before the deadline on Tuesday, Oct. 10.
Election Day is right around the corner, and even though this is an off-year election, it’s important that you make a plan to vote. Casting your ballot during every election is one of the easiest, most effective ways to directly impact education, income and health in our community.
At United Way of Metropolitan Dallas, we encourage you to spend a little time in the next few weeks familiarizing yourself with the races and candidates in your jurisdiction, as well as some of the key issues that are driving this election cycle.
Why vote this year?
Voting is one of the simplest, yet most powerful, duties we as citizens hold. It’s important for every citizen to be an informed voter. While many people only vote during presidential election cycles, every election directly impacts various factors of your life.
Frustrated by an increase in your property taxes? Want to help decide who is on the local school board? Be sure to cast your ballot—every election.
Your vote has the power to improve the quality of life in North Texas and drive positive changes that affect the education, income and health of our community.
Election Day Basics
First thing’s first, make sure you are registered to vote. You can verify your registration status on the Texas Secretary of State website. If you’re not registered, you can still register to vote before the deadline on Tuesday, Oct. 10. Visit VoteTexas.gov to register online or request a printed application.
This year’s General Election takes place on Tuesday, Nov. 7. Early voting begins Monday, Oct. 23 and ends Friday, Nov. 3.
During this year’s election, voters will decide on numerous local races, including school boards, municipal governments and local ballot measures. Many local jurisdictions may also have a bond election.
To see the races and issues on your ballot, visit Vote411.org and type in your home address.
Know Before You Go
Bring a photo ID: You must present one of the seven acceptable forms of photo identification before you can vote:
- Texas driver’s license
- Texas election ID certificate
- Texas personal ID card
- Texas handgun license
- U.S. citizenship certificate with photo
- U.S. military ID card with photo
- U.S. passport (book or card)
Your voter registration card is not mandatory to vote, but it’s a good idea to bring it if you have it. If your name is spelled differently on the official voter list than on your ID, showing your registration card may resolve the issue.
Voting locations: Polling locations may be different for early voting and Election Day, so visit your county’s election website—Dallas, Collin, Rockwall or Denton—to make sure you’re headed to the right location.
Be an educated voter: Save yourself time at the polls by being prepared. Do your research on candidates and propositions, and determine how you want to vote before getting to the voting machine. You can bring notes or a sample ballot with you to vote, but you’re not allowed to have partisan flyers with you in the voting booth. Create your own personalized ballot by visiting Vote411.org.
Encourage your network: Make a plan to vote and invite your neighbors and friends to go vote with you.
Vote by mail: To be eligible to vote early by mail in Texas, you must meet at least one of the following criteria:
- Be 65 years old or older
- Be disabled
- Be out of the county on Election Day and during the period for early voting by personal appearance
- Be confined in jail, but otherwise eligible
You can request the application for a mail-in ballot from the Texas Secretary of State’s office. The deadline to submit a vote-by-mail application is Friday, Oct. 27. To learn how to request a vote-by-mail application and to submit your application, visit your county’s Elections Office website: Dallas, Collin, Rockwall or Denton.
Voter Rights in Texas
As a voter, it’s helpful to understand your rights so that you feel comfortable and confident in voting this year. Check out our Texas Voter Bill of Rights before you cast your ballot.
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