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Texas voter registration for the March primaries ends Jan. 31

Eligible Texans can register to vote by submitting a paper application to the voter registrar’s office in their county, by mail or in person.
Eligible Texans can register to vote by submitting a paper application to the voter registrar’s office in their county, by mail or in person.

The last day to register to vote in Texas' March 1 primary election is Monday, Jan. 31. According to the Texas Secretary of State's office at least 17,163,774 Texans are already registered to vote.

Statewide Offices on the Ballot

Texas voters will decide the Republican and Democratic candidates that are going to compete for seven statewide seats in the November general election. They include governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, land commissioner, agriculture commissioner, comptroller and one of three seats on the Railroad Commission of Texas, which regulates the state's oil and gas industry. The March 1 ballot also includes races for the Texas Legislature, Congress, the State Board of Education and judicial positions.

Voter registration eligibility in Texas

According to the Texas Secretary of State's office, registering to vote requires Texans to be:

  • A U.S. citizen;
  • A resident in the county where you submit the application;
  • At least 17 years and 10 months old on the date their voter registration application is submitted and 18 or older on Election Day;
  • Not a convicted felon, but some people may be eligible to vote if they have completed their sentence, probation and parole;
  • Not declared by a court exercising probate jurisdiction to be either totally mentally incapacitated or partially mentally incapacitated without the right to vote.

How to register

Eligible Texans can register to vote by submitting a paper application to the voter registrar's office in their county, by mail or in person. Applications sent by mail must be postmarked by the Jan. 31 voter registration deadline. Anyone who recently moved or changed their name can update their voter registration information on the Texas Secretary of State's My Voter Portal. People can also check whether they are already registered to vote on the same website.

The Texas Secretary of State’s office offers a voter registration form online, but the application must still be printed, signed and submitted to the county voter registrar. Texas' only option for registering online is through the Texas Department of Public Safety. People are permitted to register to vote online when updating information on their driver's license or state identification card, following a federal court ruling in 2020.

Political party voting options

Assistant Secretary of State for Communications Sam Taylor reminds voters that Texas is an open primary state, meaning they may cast a ballot in either party’s primary election, but not both.

“The only catch is that if you vote in one party’s primary you can only vote in that party’s primary runoff," Taylor said.

Runoff elections will be held May 24 for any primary race in which no candidate wins a majority of the vote. The runoffs will feature the top two candidates in each race.

Early voting for the March primary elections starts Monday, Feb. 14 and ends Friday, Feb. 25.

Copyright 2022 Houston Public Media News 88.7. To see more, visit Houston Public Media News 88.7.