3 things Texas voters need to know ahead of the July 14 runoff election

OurCount is a movement to make sure every Black person counts, every Black community counts, and every Black vote counts. If you’re a Texas voter, read on to learn more about how to protect your ability to vote safely in the upcoming election. 

On Tuesday, July 14, Texas will hold its primary runoff election. In more than 30 key races, voters will decide which candidates for statewide, congressional and legislative offices will appear on the ballot for the November general election. 

As a growing number of states adopt new voting policies to reduce the spread of COVID-19, Texas’ right-wing State Attorney General and Supreme Court are making it harder for Texans to vote. Don’t let political games keep you from casting your ballot. Here’s what you need to know in order to vote safely ahead of Election Day, Tuesday, July 14:

  1. Any registered voter can participate in the runoff election, even if you did not vote in the primary. If you did vote in a party primary in March, you can only vote in the same party’s runoff. Check out the results of the March primary here to see who will be on your ballot. If no single candidate in a race crossed the 50% threshold, a primary candidate will be decided in the July 14 runoff.
  1. Can I vote from home? The deadline to request an absentee ballot is Thursday, July 2. To request an absentee ballot to vote by mail in Texas, voters must meet one or more of the following qualifications:
    1. 65 years of age, or older
    2. Detained in jail, but otherwise eligible
    3. Out of the county on Election Day
    4. Have a disability. Texas’ election codes define disability as “a sickness or physical condition that prevents the voter from appearing at the polling place on election day without a likelihood of needing personal assistance or of injuring the voter’s health.”
  1. How do I return my absentee ballot? Completed ballots must be postmarked by 7 PM on Election Day. Voters can also return ballots in person with a valid form of ID.

If you decide to vote in-person, keep in mind:

  • Any registered voter can avoid long lines and crowds by voting early. The early voting period has doubled, now running from June 29 through July 10. 
  • On Election Day, July 14, 2020, polls will be open from 7 AM to 7 PM. Check your county’s website to find your local polling precinct.
  • To reduce your chances of catching or spreading COVID-19, it’s a good idea to wear a face mask that covers your nose and mouth, carry your own pen in case you need to sign in or sign anything, and carry hand sanitizer to use after you leave your polling place.