And We’re Off: Early Voting in Primary Elections Begins Today

electionThe beginning of a busy political season began today as polling places opened up for early primary voting in elections across the state.

Whether you’re voting in the Democratic or Republican primaries, a bumper crop of prospective politicians are vying for local, regional and state seats.

As a rule, CandysDirt.com does not endorse candidates. We do, however, seek to provide information about elections and your options, and will have closer looks at key seats after the primary elections are over.

For now, we’ve worked to gather some places for you to find information about who will be on your ballot, and who most aligns with your viewpoints and ideals. Before we outline all of that, we thought we’d talk about a few things that we’ve found people might not know.

First, if you have a teenager at home, and that teenager will be 18 by November (or even May, if they would like to vote in school board elections), he or she can go ahead and register to vote. They can’t actually vote until they turn 18, but in our experience doing it when it’s at the front of your mind is far better than forgetting and missing a key deadline that would allow you to vote in your first election.

Secondly, we did hear that in the State Board of Education District 12 Democratic primary, there is likely only one person actually running to be on the ballot in the general election — Suzanne Smith. We reached out to the Dallas County Democrats, who confirmed Tina Green missed a deadline to remove her name from the ballot, and is not campaigning. Laura Malone-Miller also let us know today that she is not campaigning for the seat, either.

So how do you know what your ballot looks like? If you’re in Dallas County, you can click here, and after providing your name and birthdate, your sample ballot options (Democratic or Republican) will be available. In Tarrant County, you can click here, and in Collin County here.

To find early voting locations and times, you can click here for Dallas County, here for Tarrant County, and here for Collin County.

Now that you know who is on your ballot, how do you know who to vote for? Luckily, there are a view handy voter guides to help you review candidates. The Dallas Morning News has a whole list of endorsements for both the Democratic and Republican primaries and also a guide. The League of Women Voters has a guide that can be tailored specifically for your ballot, too. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram also has a raft of recommendations.

Early voting will continue through March 2. Primary election day is March 6. If no candidate receives a majority of the vote in the primary, the two candidates with the most votes will go to a runoff election May 22. A runoff would likely cause some confusion, since school board elections will be held May 5.

Bethany Erickson is the education, consumer affairs, and public policy columnist for CandysDirt.com. Contact her at bethany@candysdirt.com.