Heads up, Bexar County: Tuesday is the start of early voting for the March 3 Super Tuesday primary. Texas is one of 14 states participating in Super Tuesday, and the state’s voters wield quite a bit of influence in the 2020 presidential election with 262 Democratic delegates at stake.

Of those delegates, 228 are pledged to vote for certain candidates on the first ballot at July’s Democratic National Convention. The remaining 33 are unpledged, also known as “superdelegates” who can vote for any candidate.

Texas Republicans have 155 delegates attending the Republican National Convention in August.

Voters can cast ballots for presidential candidates on the Republican and Democratic primary races. Though 17 candidates appear on the Democratic ballot, seven have already dropped out (including former San Antonio mayor and secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julián Castro). On the Republican ballot, voters will see seven candidates – including current President Donald Trump – and an “uncommitted” option, which means their vote will go toward sending an uncommitted delegate to the Republican National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, in August.

Trump seems to have strong support from Texas Republicans. The latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll found that 75 percent of the state’s Republican voters approved of the way Trump handled impeachment proceedings, while only 39 percent of all those polled said they approve. The poll, conducted before New Hampshire’s primary, also found that Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders commands the most Texas support among Democratic candidates; 24 percent of respondents said they would vote for him in the primary. Former Vice President Joe Biden followed with 22 percent, and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren was third place in voters’ hearts with 15 percent saying they would vote for her.

Interestingly, there are two presidential candidates named “Rocky” – one on the Democratic ballot and one on the Republican ballot. An Austin American-Statesman columnist dug a little further when seeing their nearly identical names and found that the two are father and son.

Seeking his fourth term, Texas Sen. John Cornyn also faces four primary challengers in the Republican primary, while 12 Democratic candidates have thrown their hats into the ring for a chance to challenge Cornyn in November. MJ Hegar, an Air Force veteran who made an unsucessful run for Congress in 2018, holds a strong lead in the Democratic primary, according to the latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll, but will likely be pushed into a runoff with one of the other candidates.

Voters also will select party nominees in county races, including three county commissioners’ seats and for Bexar County Sheriff. There are key races in some Texas House and congressional districts, too. Read on for more information on how to vote early.

Where can I vote?

During early voting, there are 38 early voting sites, including the Bexar County Elections Department. Find early voting locations and hours here. Voters are no longer confined to specific precincts on election day, and can vote at any Bexar County polling location on March 3.

What’s on the ballot?

Primary voters can ask for either a Republican or Democratic ballot but can vote only for candidates in that party if a runoff results.

In addition to congressional races, Texans will vote on nominees for railroad commissioner, state supreme court justices, and members of the Texas Criminal Court of Appeals. Find the full list of primary statewide races here.

There are multiple races in play in the Texas Senate and Texas House. State Sen. Pete Flores, who flipped a historically blue district in a 2018 special election, is unchallenged in the Republican primary, but four candidates are running in the Democratic primary for the right to challenge him. State Sen. José Menéndez (D-San Antonio) has no challengers. All Texas House seats are up for election.

Bexar County voters can cast ballots for county commissioner in Precincts 1, 2, and 3, county sheriff, county tax assessor-collector, county constable in precincts 1, 2, 3, and 4, justice of the peace for precincts 2 and 4, and district court judges.

Each party’s primary ballot will list several propositions, which range from asking voters about prayer in schools to voters’ rights. The propositions do not set any laws or policies, but act as a barometer for parties to gauge voters’ support for different issues. The Republican Party of Texas website explained the propositions this way: “When you vote YES or NO, you are telling us what you think should happen. You are not voting to make a law but merely saying you agree or disagree with the statement.”

There are 11 propositions on the Democratic ballot and 10 on the Republican ballot.

How can I determine if I’m registered to vote?

You can check your voter registration status here. All you need is your Voter ID number or Texas Driver’s License number, your name, county of residence, and date of birth.

When can I vote?

Early voting starts Tuesday, Feb. 18, and ends Friday, Feb. 28. Hours for early voting vary, and you can find details here. Election Day is Tuesday, March 3. 

What do I need to bring with me to vote?

You need to provide one of the following seven forms of identification:

  • Texas Driver License issued by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS)
  • Texas Election Identification Certificate issued by DPS
  • Texas Personal Identification Card issued by DPS
  • Texas Handgun License issued by DPS
  • United States Military Identification Card containing your photograph
  • United States Citizenship Certificate containing your photograph
  • United States Passport (book or card)

If you don’t have one of the seven forms of identification listed above and can’t reasonably get one, you can also bring one of these:

  • A copy or original of a government document that shows your name and an address, including your voter registration certificate;
  • A copy of or original current utility bill;
  • A copy of or original bank statement;
  • A copy of or original government check;
  • A copy of or original paycheck; or
  • A copy of or original of (a) a certified domestic (from a U.S. state or territory) birth certificate or (b) a document confirming birth admissible in a court of law which establishes your identity, which may include a foreign birth document.

If your name for some reason does not appear on the list of registered voters but you did register to vote in time, you can also cast a provisional ballot.

What about absentee ballots?

You can vote by mail if you are:

  • Going to be away from your county on election day and during early voting
  • Sick or disabled
  • 65 years of age or older on election day
  • Confined in jail, but eligible to vote

You can request an application for an absentee ballot from the elections department, or print one out here. Applications for absentee ballots must be received by the elections department 11 days before election day, which is March 3. And for your vote to count, it must be received by 7 p.m. on Tuesday, March 3.

Have more questions?

Check out VoteTexas.gov. Or ask us, and we’ll find an answer for you.

Jackie Wang

Jackie Wang is a general assignment reporter at the Rivard Report.