Dear Texas friend of democracy,
If you received this email but don't reside in Texas, please share the information with someone that does!
Texas holds its 2014 primary elections for state and federal offices on Tuesday, March 4.
Voter turnout has been consistently poor in recent elections, particularly in primaries. In the 2012 primaries, Texas turnout was a dismally low 16% of registered voters. We can reverse that trend by taking it upon ourselves to vote. Texas’s congressional and state primaries tomorrow are a good place to start. Although we recognize that some primary races are not seriously contested, most congressional districts are so safe for one party that the primary will determine the winner. FairVote projects that 35 of the 36 districts in Texas will be won by the incumbent party in 2014.
See our projections for U.S. House races in Texas and our proposal for reform at this state profile.
Here are key facts about the election:
- The Democratic Party and the Republican Party each have an open primary, which means that you can choose to vote on primary day by party affiliation or as unaffiliated. You are held to that choice in the runoff. You are not held to what you chose in the last election.
- Polling hours are 7am to 7pm. Find your polling place here.
- The deadline to apply for an absentee ballot has already passed. Absentee ballots must have been received by mail or in person prior to the close of polls on Election Day.
- The voter registration deadline for the primary was February 3rd, but it is still possible to register for the November 4th general election until October 6th. More information is available here.
- Texas requires runoffs for primary elections in which no candidate wins a majority of the vote. Primary runoffs this year will be held on May 27. FairVote suggests that Texas consider replacing primary runoffs with an instant runoff, given the findings in our 2013 report of a significant and consistent turnout decline between primary and primary runoff elections.
- To confirm what's on the ballot, we suggest that you contact your local county elections office, as additional races and measures may be on your local ballot.
For further information on this year’s primaries around the nation, see our state-by-state information on Open and Closed Primaries.
I know that some of you may not be eager to participate in major party nomination contests. If that's the case, I hope you'll be voting in November.
P.S. I would highly recommend perusing our new report on congressional elections featured at fairvoting.us