The general election is on Nov. 3. From a look at the candidates to the ballot issues to making sure your vote is counted, here's a look at what to know.
We're presenting this voter guide in chronological order of the process. The topics include:
- Registering to vote.
- Learning about candidates and issues.
- Turning in your ballot.
- Making sure your vote is counted.
- Staying safe while voting during a pandemic.
How to register to vote: How to register to vote
First thing first: making sure you're able to vote in the first place.
Anyone interested in voting can register in person at your voter registrar's office. You can also register by mail by picking up an application from the registrar, libraries, government offices or high schools.
You can also request a voter application by clicking or tapping here, then mailing it to the voter registrar in your county of residence.
You will not be fully registered until you have filled out your application, signed it, and mailed it to the registrar.
In order to be eligible to vote, you must be registered or have your application postmarked 30 days prior to the election. The deadline for the November 3 election is October 5.
Additionally, if you were previously registered but moved to a new county or state, you will need to register within your new county.
To find out more about mail-in voting, you can click or tap the link below.
Your ballot and important dates: Your ballot and important dates
The last day to register to vote in Texas is October 5.
The first day of early voting for in-person voting is October 13. The deadline for in-person early voting is October 30.
Election Day is November 3.
If you are applying for a mail-in ballot, you must send in your application to the early voting clerk in your county. The application can be received no later than October 23.
You can vote up until 7 p.m. on election day (Nov. 3). If you're in line at a polling center at 7 p.m., it will stay open until your vote is counted.
Rundown of major races: Rundown of major races
Here's a look at some of the key races in Texas and an introduction to the candidates.
The big stories this year include the presidential race as well as a U.S. Senate seat.
Other major races include the 11 Congressional District race, where the winner will take over from Mike Conaway, who is retiring after his term ends.
Incumbent Republican Donald Trump won Texas against Democrat Hillary Clinton with 52.2% of the vote.
The state has favored Republicans in every presidential election between 2000 and 2016.
President Trump will be facing off against former Vice President Joe Biden. Their running mates are Mike Pence and Kamala Harris.
One of Texas's biggest races is the senate race between Republican incumbent John Cornyn and Democratic nominee M. J. Hegar.
U.S. House of Representatives
11th Congressional District
After Representative Mike Conaway announced his decision to retire in 2019, several candidates lined up to run for the seat. August Pfluger came out on top in the March primary.
Pluger will face off against Jon Mark Hogg, the Democratic candidate for the seat.
Other local elections
Texas has 36 current congressional districts. Click or tap here to figure out which district you live in by plugging in your address.
Local ballot issues
Odessa mayor race
Since David Turner has maxed out the amount of time any one person can hold the mayor position, there will be a new mayor in Odessa come November.
Current city council member Dewey Bryant, former council member Javier Joven, and former staff member for congressman Mike Conaway, Gloria Apolinario are all vying for the position.
Odessa city council races
Additionally, three city council seats are up. David Turner, Denise Swanner, La-Tasha Gentry and Jo Ann Davenport Littleton are vying for the at-large city council position.
Mark Matta, Michael Shelton, Sr., Tiki Davis and Eddie Mitchell are competing for District 1's spot, while Steven Thompson and Rachel Minor are going head to head for the District 2 seat.
Big Spring mayor recall
Big Spring residents will be voting on whether or not to recall Shannon Thomason, the current mayor of Big Spring.
Brewster County sheriff race
Sheriff Ronnie Dodson is running for reelection against Will Dawe.
For all other races, you can call your county elections office and ask for a sample ballot, or simply ask what local races will be on the ballot.
What to bring with you to the polls: What to bring with you to the polls
When heading to the polls, here are a few things you should bring with you to cast your ballot.
Polling places require some form of identification to make sure you get the right ballot for your location.
Acceptable forms of identification include drivers licenses, handgun licenses, a passport or a military ID card. People may even be able to vote with an expired license in certain circumstances.
If you're not sure you'll remember who to vote for, you can bring a physical cheat sheet of candidates with you into the voting booth.
Cell phones should be turned off or left outside of your polling location. Having your phone with you in the booth can result in your vote being disqualified.
Additionally, you are not allowed to take a picture of your ballot. Make sure to snap a picture of your "I Voted" sticker once you have gotten back in your car or back home.
For more information, you can contact your local elections official to ask for specifics on polling places.
Additionally, to find your polling place for early voting or Election Day voting you can click or tap here.
Voting during a pandemic: Voting during a pandemic
Voting during a pandemic can be stressful. Here is some guidance for voting during a pandemic and staying safe.
Voters who are physically unable to enter a polling place without assistance or potential risk to their health are allowed to ask for curbside voting.
While in line to vote, voters should maintain proper social distancing guidelines and stay six feet apart. Masks are also encouraged at your polling place.
Many election offices are working to keep people safe by thoroughly sanitizing machines between voters.
For more information on the precautions being taken in your area, you can contact your local elections office.