With early voting coming to a close and primary elections March 3, it is important to find out when, where and how to vote. Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions about voting in Bexar County.
Why is voting important?
English senior Cheyenne Zavala said she believes voting is important for the sake of college students’ futures.
“As college students, we will be going out into the world looking for jobs, healthcare, and home buying,” Zavala said. “I hear a lot of colleagues say they want to be the difference they hope to see in the world and voting for representation gives us all the opportunity to do that.”
Samantha Muniz, education EC-6 senior, shared a similar reason for why voting matters, saying that any vote could lead to possible changes in the world.
“I feel voting is important because it is a privilege of our citizenship,” Muniz said. “We have the amazing opportunity to have a say in what we want or need from our government.”
What are primary elections?
The primary elections allow voters to choose their preference for candidates in the general election for either the Democratic or Republican Party.
How do I find out if I’m registered to vote?
To view your voter registration status, www.bexar.org/1568/Elections-Department and click “check your voter registration.” You can also contact Bexar County Elections at 210-335-6625, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Another option is the Texas Secretary of State’s webpage: https://teamrv-mvp.sos.texas.gov/MVP/mvp.do.
How can I register to vote?
Though it’s too late to register for the March 3 primaries, there is plenty of time to register for the November general election. The deadline is October 5.
Despite the thriving digital age, voter registration applications still must be completed by paper form and cannot be done online. LaTonia Brock, Bexar County Elections voter registration processor, says you can download an informal registration application online from the Texas Secretary of State website and have it printed, signed and mailed to your local County Voter Registrar.
To download a form, visit https://www.sos.state.tx.us/elections/voter/reqvr.shtml.
“There is no online registration for new applications in the state of Texas,” Brock said in a phone interview Feb. 24. “You can also go to the library or sometimes the post office will have the application to fill it out and turn it in.”
Aside from libraries, voter registration applications can also be found at government offices and some high schools. Brock also says that if moving elsewhere within the county, you can make changes online. If one is registered in another county, they must vote within their own county.
Where can I vote?
Polling locations are located in several areas across the city, particularly libraries and schools, including Texas A&M University-San Antonio. The campus polling site is outside the Mays Center on the first floor of the Science and Technology Building. Voters no longer have to go to their specific precinct’s polling location anymore, as they can now vote at any polling location as long as it is within the county. A list of polling locations and dates can be found on https://www.bexar.org/1568/Elections-Department.
Do I need to bring anything to vote?
When voting, one must bring any of the seven acceptable identification forms, which consist of a Texas state driver’s license, Texas state ID, military ID, United States passport, handgun license, citizenship certificate, or election identification certificate.
“Any form of ID cannot be expired no more than four years between the ages of 18 and 69,” Brock said.
I don’t have my own transportation. How can I vote?
Since some may not have transportation to visit a location with voting, there can still be transportation options in order to vote. For Super Tuesday on March 3, the city’s VIA buses will provide free rides to those who present a valid voter registration card. Another option would be to contact your party or a political campaign.
“You could get in touch with a party or campaign, since some coordinate with transportation,” Brock said.
Can I still vote in the primary if I’m not a registered Democrat or Republican?
Since it is not uncommon for many to not associate with either the Democratic or Republican parties, independent voters are still able to vote. Those who are not registered to vote in the primary can still vote if unaffiliated with either party. However, they must choose either the Democratic or Republican ballot.
“The only two major parties have a primary. If you associate with another party, you can choose to participate,” Brock said. “In the state of Texas, we do not register you by party.”
Who’s running and where can I learn more about these candidates?
Many major news websites provide information about candidates in the 2020 election.
Visiting the websites of candidates would also be a good way to get to know them, as their websites provide details and insight on what they would pursue if elected.
The League of Women Voters offers personalized voting information at https://www.vote411.org/.
Are there any dates or deadlines I need to be aware of?
Early voting in Texas will conclude February 28, while primary election voting is March 3. The final date to get voter registration forms turned in for the primary election is April 27. For the general election, the final day to register is Oct. 5.
This story was updated at 1:18 p.m. Feb. 29 to clarify the university’s polling location.