News for North Texas
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
News

Your North Texas Voter Guide For The 2020 General Election

Early voting location in Dallas
LM Otero
/
Associated Press
Early voting drew a crowd even before the pandemic. Here's one Dallas voting center during the February primary.

Early voting in Texas for the 2020 general election began Tuesday, Oct. 13. The state will be voting for the next U.S. president, a U.S. senator, three dozen members of Congress and a variety of state and local officials.

Voting can be complicated, and the pandemic has only heightened the challenge. People often find themselves unsure of where to go, what to bring and what's on the ballot. Don't fear — we've put together this guide with what you need to know to vote in North Texas.

Key Dates

Oct. 5: This was your last day to register to vote for the general election.

Oct. 13: Early voting started in Texas. You can check your county's website for information about polling locations.

Oct. 23: This was your last day to request a ballot to vote by mail. In Texas, only voters who meet certain conditions are eligible to vote this way.

Oct. 30: Early voting ends.

Nov. 3: Election Day. If you didn't vote early, now is your chance. Make sure to show up at your local precinct, unless your county is participating in countywide voting. Again, you can find this out by checking your county's website.

What To Know About Absentee Ballots

Oct. 23: Deadline to request an absentee ballot.

Nov. 3: Mail-in ballots must be postmarked by Election Day.

To qualify to vote by mail, Texans must fall under one of four qualifications.

  • Be 65 or older.
  • Plan to be away from your county of residence for the duration of the election (this will include members of the military, college students and those stationed overseas for work)
  • Have a disability.
  • Be confined in jail without having been finally convicted of a felony.

What To Bring To The Polls

Seven forms of acceptable ID to vote in Texas
VoteTexas.gov
If you don't have one of these forms of ID, you can bring a supporting document like a utility bill or paycheck and fill out a "Reasonable Impediment Declaration" form at your polling place.

VoteTexas.gov has everything you need to know about what to bring to vote in person. One of seven forms of ID will get you into a voting booth:

  • Texas driver's license
  • Texas election identification certificate (EIC) issued by the Department of Public Safety
  • Texas personal ID card issued by DPS
  • Texas handgun license issued by DPS
  • U.S. military ID card containing your photograph
  • U.S. citizenship certificate containing your photograph
  • U.S. passport, book or card

» What if your ID is expired?

That's OK, to a degree.

  • For voters age 18-69: Except for the U.S. citizenship certificate, which doesn't expire, the ID you bring to the polls must have expired no more than four years before.
  • For voters 70 and older: You can use one of the seven forms of ID to vote, regardless of how long it's been expired, as long as it's otherwise valid.

» What if you don't have one of the seven acceptable forms of voter ID?

The state lists other forms of identification, like a utility bill or birth certificate, that you can use to vote if you don't "possess an acceptable form of photo identification, and cannot reasonably obtain one."

In addition to presenting that secondary form of ID, you'll also need to fill out a "Reasonable Impediment Declaration" form.

» What if you're a voter with special needs?

A person of your choice or an election worker can assist you at the polls — but the person cannot be your employer or someone who represents your employer, or an officer or representative of your union.

If you're physically unable to enter the polling location, you can vote curbside. Send someone into the polling location to request an election worker meet you at the curb. If you're planning on arriving alone, call ahead to your county's elections office.

Where To Vote And When

» DALLAS COUNTY

Early Voting: In-person early voting locations in Dallas County are open from 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and 1-6 p.m. Sundays from Oct. 13 through Oct. 30. Here's a list of the county's early voting locations, or you can find one using this interactive map.

Election Day: Polling locations are still being finalized. One thing we do know: The American Airlines Center will be used as a voting supercenter, both for early voting and on Election Day. On Nov. 3, Dallas Countians can votes from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at any polling place. You do not have to vote in your specific precinct.

DART will offer free rides to the polls on Election Day to anyone carrying a valid voter registration card.

» TARRANT COUNTY

Early Voting: In-person early-voting locations will be open 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Oct. 13-17 and Oct. 19-23; 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 24; 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 25 and 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Oct. 26-30. Voters can check this list of locations or use this interactive map.

Election Day: Tarrant County residents can also vote at any polling place in the county. Use the interactive map or check out this list to find an Election Day voting location. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

» COLLIN COUNTY

Early Voting: Collin County early voting locations are open 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Oct. 13-16; 7 a.m.-7 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 17; 1-6 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 18; 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Oct. 19-24; 1-6 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 25 and 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Oct. 26-30. The county has an interactive map of locations or voters can check a list here.

Election Day: Collin County voters have been able to cast ballots at any polling place in the county since 2013. On Election Day, polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. You can find a list of Election Day voting locations here.

» DENTON COUNTY

Early Voting: Denton County early voting locations are open from 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Oct 13-17; 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Oct. 18; 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Oct. 19-24; 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Oct. 25; 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Oct. 26-30. Denton County residents can vote early at any of these locations.

Election Day: Denton County residents must vote at their assigned precinct polling location on Election Day. Type in your address here to find your polling location. Polls will be open from 7 a.m.-7 p.m.

» ROCKWALL COUNTY

Early Voting: Rockwall County early voting locations are open 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Oct. 13-16 and Oct. 19-23; 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Oct. 24; 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Oct. 25; 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Oct. 26-30. Early voters in Rockwall County can cast ballots at any of these locations.

Election Day: Rockwall County voters can vote only at their assigned precinct polling location on Election Day. Type in your address here to find your polling location, or check this list of Election Day voting locations. Polls will be open from 7 a.m.-7 p.m.

» MORE NORTH TEXAS COUNTIES

Get voting information at the following county websites:

What's On The Ballot

President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden talk during the first presidential debate on Sept. 29, 2020.
President Donald Trump, left, and Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden with moderator Chris Wallace of Fox News during the first presidential debate Sept. 29, 2020.

Four candidates are on the presidential ballot in Texas:

  • Donald J. Trump, Republican
  • Joseph R. Biden, Democrat
  • Jo Jorgensen, Libertarian
  • Howie Hawkins, Green

District-level races
At the federal level, Texans are divided among 36 congressional districts. At the state level, Texans are divided into 150 House districts, 31 Senate districts and 15 State Board of Education districts. Your address determines your district — and who represents you. All congressional and Texas House districts are up for election this year, along with one U.S. Senate seat, several Texas Senate seats and eight State Board of Education seats.

Local elections
Each of Texas’ 254 counties administers its own elections on races that range from county commissioner seats to district attorneys. Information about what’s on the ballot in specific counties can be found on the list of county websites maintained by the Texas secretary of state’s office. You can also get a personalized ballot at our statewide public radio website, TexasDecides.org.

Statewide races
This year's general election also included 10 statewide positions, including the race to determine who will represent the state in the U.S. Senate alongside Ted Cruz.

Texas U.S. Senate candidates:

  • John Cornyn, Republican (Incumbent)
  • Mary "MJ" Hegar, Democrat
  • Kerry McKennon, Libertarian
  • David Collins, Green

The remaining races are for railroad commissioner and eight seats on the state’s two highest courts — the Supreme Court and the Court of Criminal Appeals.

Texas Railroad Commissioner:

  • Chrysta Castaneda, Democrat
  • James Wright, Republican
  • Katija Gruene, Green Party
  • Matt Sterett, Libertarian

Texas Supreme Court:
Texas Supreme Court Place 1 Chief Justice:

  • Nathan Hecht, Republican
  • Amy Clark Meachum, Democrat
  • Mark Ash, Libertarian

Texas Supreme Court Place 6

  • Jane Bland, Republican
  • Kathy Cheng, Democrat

Texas Supreme Court Place 7

  • Jeffrey S. Boyd, Republican
  • Staci Williams, Democrat
  • William Bryan Strange, Libertarian

Texas Supreme Court Place 8

  • Brett Busby, Republican
  • Gisela Triana, Democrat
  • Tom Oxford, Libertarian

Texas Court of Criminal Appeals:
Texas Court of Criminal Appeals Place 3

  • Bert Richardson, Republican
  • Elizabeth Davis Frizell, Democrat

Texas Court of Criminal Appeals Place 4

  • Kevin Patrick Yeary, Republican
  • Tina Yoo Clinton, Democrat

Texas Court of Criminal Appeals Place 9

  • David Newell, Republican
  • Brandon Birmingham, Democrat

Correction: An earlier version of this story gave the incorrect date for the start of early voting in Texas. Early voting begins Oct. 13.

KERA News is made possible through the generosity of our members. If you find this reporting valuable, consider making a tax-deductible gift today. Thank you.