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  • Erika Ramirez, Leah Gonzalez, Anthony Betori

Your Guide for all Things Voting in Texas this November

Election day is fast approaching, and with this year presenting some unique challenges, we wanted to provide you with a guide on how to be safe and smart at the polls.

Important Dates to Remember:

Registration deadlines

October 5

Early voting

Oct. 13 - Oct. 30, but dates and hours may vary based on where you live

Absentee/Mail In ballot deadlines

Request: Oct. 23

Return by mail: Postmarked by Nov. 3

Election day is Nov. 3

Are you registered?

Before you’ll be able to cast your vote, you have to be a registered voter in the county you plan to vote from. You can check your registration status here. And if you need to register, you’ll need to take care of that before October 5th, but you can get started here.

Where can you vote?

Once you’ve confirmed you are a registered voter, you have a few options for methods to actually submit your vote: by mail, or in person during early voting or on election day.

By mail:

If you choose to vote by mail, you must qualify and apply. To qualify you must be:

  • be 65 years or older;

  • be sick or disabled;

  • be out of the county on election day and during the period for early voting by personal appearance; or

  • be confined in jail, but otherwise eligible.

Early Voting:

Early voting will take place from October 13 - October 30. Dates and times may vary based on your location, but registered and eligible voters may vote at ANY early voting location located in your county. Be sure to check out your county clerk’s website for more information on poll locations and time.

On Election Day:

Election Day is Tuesday, November 3rd. There may be some changes in available poll locations from what was open during early voting, so check your county clerk’s website for Election Day polling locations. Election Day voting hours are 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. at all polling places statewide.

How can you vote safely according to state officials?

  • Bring a pencil to fill out your ballot without touching the screen: They will have pencils and sometimes finger coverings (called finger cots) available

  • Bring sanitizer and use it before and after voting

  • Observe social distancing of 6 feet

  • Wear a mask

  • Self screen for symptoms: You can still vote if you have symptoms! Curbside voting should be available at all locations

  • Thank your poll workers!

Why is it important to vote for the SBOE?

It’s a chance for you to share what you think about education standards by using your vote! Find the candidates that align with your values and think about what their impact would be on future education standards. Also, State Board of Education members represent HUGE amounts of people, about 1.8 million per person - that’s more than any other regional representative in the state, including the Texas House and Senate.

Who is running?

There are 8 seats on the State Board of Education up for election this year, including Districts 1, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 14, 15. We’ve listed the candidates below. You can see what district you live in here and preview your ballot here.

SBOE district breakdown:

District 1

District 5

Incumbent Ken Mercer (Republican Party) is not seeking re-election.

District 6

Incumbent Donna Bahorich (Republican Party) is not seeking re-election.

District 8

Incumbent Barbara Cargill (Republican Party) is not seeking re-election.

District 9

District 10

District 14

District 15

Incumbent Marty Rowley (Republican Party) is not seeking re-election.

Erika Ramirez is the Director of Policy and Advocacy for Healthy Futures of Texas, working to move us toward a Texas where everyone has access to preventive healthcare, including contraception. When’s she’s not analyzing policy, you can find her frolicking outside at parks and trails with her dog, Oscar, or reading in her hammock.

Leah Gonzalez serves as the Policy and Advocacy Associate for Healthy Futures of Texas, primarily advocating for access to preventive healthcare – including contraception. She’s a native Texan, cat owner, and appreciates any time spent by a body of water.

Anthony Betori is the Program Director at Healthy Futures of Texas. He is a MPH candidate at John Hopkins University and a Bloomberg Fellow. He has two great loves: public health and baking. Anthony resides in San Antonio, Texas.

Healthy Futures of Texas, The Texas Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, and the North Texas Alliance to Reduce Unintended Pregnancy in Teens (Ntarupt) have teamed up to form Texas Is Ready, a movement advocating for improved sex education curriculum standards for Texas youth. In November 2020, the State Board of Education will update the basics of sexual health education in Texas, and leading up to that decision, representatives from each of the organizations making up Texas Is Ready will release regular blogs explaining the broad range of issues related to sexual health education in Texas.

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