Everything you need to know about Election Day
Election Day is almost here – March 6 is right around the corner.
So if you’ve been putting off voting, you can’t put it off much longer. If you just prefer voting on Election Day, don’t forget to get to your assigned voting place between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. and cast your ballot.
Go to assigned site
Remember, on Election Day you must go to your assigned polling site. It’s the only place you can vote. If you don’t know where it is, you can find out easily by going to www.vote411.org or the Bexar County Elections Department. Both will tell you your precinct number, and after early voting is over they will have the locations where your precinct votes. The San Antonio Express-News also publishes the list of polling sites by precinct number the day before or the day of the election.
On the Bexar Elections Department website, the “Polling Location Search By Address” gives you a printable personalized ballot with just the candidates running in your precinct. Vote411.org also gives you that, as well as their answers to several questions posed to them by the League of Women Voters. You can select your candidates, email your choices to yourself and print out your email to take with you into the voting booth. (You cannot take electronic devices into the booth.)
The LWV Voters Guide won’t tell you your voting site, but it does have much good voting information and answers by candidates to questions posed by the League. It’s in magazine form, easy to take into the voting booth and available at all libraries. (Vote411.org has more questions, if what is in the Guide has you wanting more information.)
Select one party
Don’t forget, in a primary you must select either the Democratic or Republican ballot. And in the runoffs on May 22, again there will be ballots for each party. If you voted in the primary, you will be given a ballot for the party you voted for in the primary. If you didn’t vote in the primary, you can pick which party’s runoff you want to vote in.
The general election, on Nov. 6, is a whole new ballgame. You can vote for Democrats, Republicans, Greens, Libertarians, Independents, Write-Ins -- you can read about that on the right. For now, let’s just concentrate on getting through the March 6 primary.
Let’s make sure we get out there and vote!
Where are the third-party candidates?
Some people, seeing that only Republicans and Democrats are represented on primary ballots, have asked about third-party candidates. Here is a primer on third-party and independent candidates.
Third parties, such as Greens and Libertarians, generally nominate their candidates at conventions as prescribed by Texas law. They can hold either conventions or a primary if in the last governor’s race their gubernatorial candidate received more than 2 percent but less than 20 percent of the total number of votes cast in the race. They must hold a primary if their candidate received 20 percent or more.
The dates of the four nominating conventions held by each third party are set by state law. This year, precinct conventions are March 13. County conventions are March 17. District conventions are March 24. State conventions are April 14. More details about them are available at the parties’ websites, www.txgreens.org and www.lptexas.org.
Conventions are open to all, but to be a voting participant, you must not have voted in either the Democratic or Republican primary.
Declaration of intent
Independent candidates must file a declaration of intent to run as an independent in the general election, file an application for a place on the ballot, and, after the primary and runoff, turn in a prescribed number of signatures from registered voters who have not voted in the primary or runoff for any of the candidates for that office.
The League of Women Voters will, as always, invite third-party and independent candidates to participate in the Voters Guide for the general election.