Did you know that in the 2022 Texas Governor Election, 55% of registered voters did not vote? That is an incredible 9.6 million people! ^1
And did you also know there is an election coming up on 7 November 2023?
Registering to vote is the very first step to voting in Texas, and there are many amazing resources at work to get people registered to vote. This article is not about getting people registered to vote! It’s about getting registered voters to actually show up to vote.
Many people do not vote because they don’t know that an election is taking place, or because they don’t feel confident in their knowledge of the issues on the ballot. I’m here to be your local friendly Precinct Chair, giving you all the important information from nonpartisan (not biased toward any particular political group) sources, enabling you to feel confident and empowered when you walk into your polling location.
Here is a step-by-step guide to preparing to vote in Texas:
Register to Vote/ Check Your Voter Registration Status
In Texas, you need to be registered in advance, at least 30 days prior to the upcoming election. For the November election that date is 10 October 2023. Unfortunately you can’t register to vote online in our state. Please double check before every election that you are in fact still registered to vote. Sometimes for whatever reason(s), eligible voters do get purged from the system and will show as unregistered.
You can check if you are registered to vote by clicking the link below:
If you need to register to vote or would like more information on registering to vote, this link is for you:
Know Important Early Voting and Election Day Dates and Times
November 7 = Election Day
October 10th = Last Day to Register to Vote
October 27th = Last Day to Apply for a Mail-in Ballot
October 23rd – November 3rd = Early Voting
Early voting times do vary depending on the date, but election day voting is from 7am-7pm. Bexar County Elections Department has shared these graphics with Early Voting locations and times.
Here is a link to Bexar County Elections Department:
Find a Polling Location That Works Best for You
In Bexar County, you can vote at any polling location during Early Voting and on Election Day. You can pick a location near to your home, on your work commute, or close to your favorite place to visit in town.
Research Ballot Topics with a Sample Ballot
Here is a link to a Generic Sample Ballot:
Here is a link to a Personalized Sample Ballot based on your home address:
The League of Women Voters of Texas is another wonderful nonpartisan resource when it comes to researching ballot topics. They also offer a comprehensive, printable Voter Guide in four languages, and have a specific chapter to help voters in San Antonio. The links for their general homepage, and their SA area branch, see below:
Feel free to print off your sample ballot, make note on it, and/or bring it with you when it’s time to vote. Remember that ballots may look different for different cities within Bexar County, including Alamo Heights, Converse, Helotes, Windcrest, etc.
Make a Plan to Vote
Look at your calendar and put “go vote” on the day that works best for you. Maybe you have a spare few minutes after school drop off or before the carpool line, or want to combine voting with other appointments and errands. It may sound silly, but seeing the written reminder on your calendar or agenda will make it something that actually gets done – rather than something that you keep putting off and never get around to. Kind of like when you run into an old friend and say “we must meet up!” and it never happens… we’ve all done it, and all feel guilty about it too.
So fix the date, time, and location – plan ahead and put it on your calendar!
Worried about childcare? You can absolutely bring your children to vote with you! They often have “Future Voter” stickers available, and all polling locations are ADA compliant and therefore able to accommodate strollers.
On that note, there are accommodations available to voters with special needs. Click the link below for more information:
Did you know that you are allowed by law to take time off work to vote? Texas offers a mandated paid time-off for voting. There is no specified time limit, so there may be some employer discretion. If in doubt, ask! ^2
We hope this post has given you all the information you need to feel prepared and confident when you vote in the next election. The final piece of the puzzle is your own motivation: your why you want to get out there and vote. This is super personal thing – everyone will have different reasons and beliefs, and that’s okay! I feel very strongly that once you find your why, you will continue to vote and find a sense of fulfilment with civic duty each time you vote.
I’d like to finish up with my personal viewpoint on why voting is so important to me. My mother worked a lot when I was growing up, so I cherished the time we got to spend together. I remember my mom taking me to vote with her at my elementary school, and thinking that waiting was boring. My mom shared with me her why, and why voting was important to her. Guess what? That stuck with me. My birthday is November 3, so it’s always close to election time. In the 2004 election, my 18th birthday was the day after election day. So I missed the ability to vote by one day! Since then, I’ve been aware of this inner flame that will never let me miss an election again. I have brought my children to go with me to vote since their infancy, and have even taken all 4 kids at once with me to vote (which was a bit of a circus!). I hope that, in talking them with me, I can share with them the experience of voting so when they are of the age to vote, they feel familiar with and comfortable at polling locations.
I know voting can feel intimidating for some people, just like doing anything new for the first time can. Take a deep breath, you got this! Go make your voice heard!