Your Guide to Voting in the May 6 Election
Calling all change-seekers: North Texas has an important election coming up on Saturday, May 6 that could have a significant impact on education, income and health in our community. This year’s election includes key local positions, such as city council seats, that have a direct impact on public policy in North Texas.
You can participate in early voting starting Monday, April 24 through Tuesday, May 2. If you plan to vote by mail, check out the rules on applying and submitting your mail in ballot (see below).
Read on for details about what’s on the ballot, key dates, how to vote and more.
The Importance of Voting in Every Election
At United Way of Metropolitan Dallas, advocacy is an important part of the work we do to improve access to education, income and health in North Texas. However, contacting your elected officials isn’t the only way to make your voice heard. It’s also vital to vote in every election—even local elections, like this year’s.
Voting is one of the simplest, yet most powerful duties we as citizens hold. It’s important for all of us to be informed voters. Many people only vote during presidential election cycles; however, the power is truly with the people—every election.
Your vote has the power to drive positive change on the big issues right here in North Texas, including our key focus areas of education, income and health. By voting, you are helping determine the elected officials who will prioritize how government funding will be allocated and make decisions that impact your daily life and the long-term viability of our community, like how our schools are run.
What’s On the Ballot
There is a long list of offices on the ballot, including city council, school district trustee, community college trustee and more.
To see what is on your local ballot and to create a customized sample ballot, visit Vote411.org.
- Apr. 24-May 2: Early voting (in-person). Dates and hours vary depending on where you live. Check your county’s election department website—Dallas, Collin, Rockwall or Denton—for dates, hours and locations.
- Apr. 25: Last day to apply for ballot by mail (must be received, not postmarked, by this day)
- May 6: Election Day and your last chance to vote.
Please note: The deadline to register to vote in the May 6 election has passed; it was April 6.
Other Things to Know
Don’t forget to bring a photo ID to your voting place. 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 bring it if you have it. If your name is spelled differently on the official 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 the candidates and the responsibilities of each office before getting to the voting machine. You can bring a list of how you want to vote, as long as it’s not a partisan flyer. To learn more about the candidates, visit 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 expected to give birth within three weeks before or after Election Day
- Be confined in jail, but otherwise eligible
Instructions on how to apply for a mail-in ballot and how to track your completed ballot can be found on the Texas Secretary of State’s website. The mail-in ballot application has changed so make sure you thoroughly read the instructions.
Be a Part of Our Advocacy Work
If you’re not already advocating with us during the Texas Legislature’s 88th session, we invite you to join us in speaking up and speaking out on the policies that matter most to our community. This session, hundreds of North Texans have been a part of our advocacy efforts, and this work is having a real impact on lawmakers.
Sign up for our Advocacy Alerts, and we’ll keep you up to date on current policy priorities and send you notifications on when and how to contact your elected officials.