How to Vote in Texas' 2022 Elections

Posted on 06/06/22 by Emily Paulin

En español | Texas’ Nov. 8 general election includes races for U.S. House, state House and Senate, governor and several other state offices. The state's primary was March 1 and its primary runoffs were May 24.

Essential info:

  • Mail-in voting: Mail-in ballots (formerly called absentee ballots) are available only to registered voters who are 65 or older, are sick or have a disability, are incarcerated but otherwise eligible, or will be out of their home county on Election Day and during the early voting period.
  • Early in-person voting: Texas offers early in-person voting from Monday, Oct. 24, to Friday, Nov. 4, for the general election.
  • In-person voting on Election Day: The general election is Tuesday, Nov. 8. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.


What’s new this year?

A new state law introduced in 2021 has changed voting in Texas, including:

  • A ban on drive-through and 24-hour early voting.
  • Election officials are no longer allowed to send unsolicited vote-by-mail application forms to voters.
  • Mail-in-ballot voters must now provide ID on both the application and the return carrier envelope for their completed ballot.
  • Those who assist someone else in filling out a ballot at the polls must sign a form disclosing their relationship to the voter. They also must recite an oath stating that they did not pressure or coerce the voter into choosing them as their assistant.

Also, a new redistricting plan has changed the boundaries of some state legislative and U.S. congressional districts and may affect which candidates appear on your ballot. Visit votetexas.gov for more information.

What races are on the ballot?

  • U.S. House: All 38 seats; Texas gained two seats in the House, as determined by population growth in the 2020 census
  • State Senate: All 31 seats
  • State House: All 150 seats
  • Governor: Greg Abbott (R), Beto O’Rourke (D) 
  • Lieutenant governor: Mike Collier (D), Dan Patrick (R)

See the other state offices up for election in 2022.

How do I register to vote?

Voters In 14 States Head To The Polls On Super Tuesday

The voter registration form requires you to provide either your Texas driver’s license number, your state ID number or the last four digits of your Social Security number. If you don’t have one of those, you must indicate that on the form.

The last day to register to be eligible to vote in the general election is Monday, Oct. 10.

Check to see if you’re already registered at the state’s Am I Registered? webpage. Note that you must reregister if you move to a different county. You can update your address online through the secretary of state’s Voter Name and Address Changes portal.

Once registered, you’ll be mailed a voter registration certificate or card with your name, address and the number of the precinct in which you’ll vote.

How can I get a mail-in ballot? Are there important deadlines?

Mail-in ballots (formerly called absentee ballots) are available only to voters who are 65 or older, are sick or have a disability, are incarcerated but otherwise eligible, or will be out of their home county on Election Day and during the early voting period. You can request a mail-in ballot:

For the general election, applications can be submitted starting Friday, Sept. 9, and must be received (not postmarked) by Friday, Oct. 28, by noon or close of business, whichever is later.

  • By email or fax: If you think you may miss the deadline to submit your application for a ballot by mail, you can email your application to your county’s early voting clerk — or fax it, if your county clerk has a fax machine. You must then also mail the original application so that the clerk receives it no later than the fourth business day after it was received via email or fax.

Note that new state law requires you to provide either your Texas driver’s license number, Texas personal ID number or election ID certificate number (which is different from your Voter Unique Identifier number) on your mail-in ballot application and the return carrier envelope for your voted ballot. If you have not been issued one of these numbers, you can submit the last four digits of your Social Security number.

If you require assistance to complete your mail-in ballot request form and/or mail-in ballot, your assister’s name, address and signature must be included on the request form and/or the carrier envelope used to return your ballot to the early voting clerk. Voters may not be assisted by their employer, an agent of their employer, or an officer or agent of their union.

How do I submit a mail-in ballot? Are there important deadlines?

Texas voters can deliver completed mail-in ballots only by mail or in person to their county’s early voting clerk; drop boxes are not available. Your completed mail-in ballot must be received by your county’s early voting clerk:

  • By 7 p.m. on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 8, if the carrier envelope is not postmarked.
  • By 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 9, if it’s postmarked by 7 p.m. on Election Day.

Make sure the identifier you list on your return carrier envelope matches the one you provided on your mail-in ballot application. There were reports of mail-in ballots being rejected during the primaries because voters did not meet this new requirement.

Also note that postage may be required to both apply for a mail-in ballot by mail and to return your mail-in ballot. Texas counties aren’t required to prepay postage, but some counties do.

Can I track my absentee ballot?

You can check the status of your mail-in ballot as well as correct any missing or incorrect information identified by county election officials via the state’s official online Ballot by Mail Tracker.

Can I vote in person before Election Day?

Yes, registered voters can vote in the general election at early voting sites in their county from Monday, Oct. 24, to Friday, Nov. 4.

Early voting locations and hours will be posted on the secretary of state’s web portal two days before early voting begins. Hours for early voting vary from county to county but can happen only between the hours of 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. Counties with more than 55,000 residents must have polls open for at least 12 hours each weekday during the second week of early voting. Drive-through and 24-hour early voting are no longer permitted.

Note that the recent redistricting in Texas means your polling location may have changed. Lawsuits over the new districts are pending, however, they will not be decided before the 2022 general election.

When is Election Day? When are polls open?

The general election is Tuesday, Nov. 8. Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Voting sites will be listed on the secretary of state’s web portal on Sunday, Nov. 6, two days before Election Day.

All polling places in Texas must be accessible for voters. If you require assistance to cast your ballot you may receive assistance from either a person of your choosing (aside from your employer, an agent of your employer, or an officer or agent of your union) or from two election workers. Those who assist others must sign a form disclosing their relationship to the voter. They also must recite an oath stating they did not pressure or coerce the voter into choosing them as an assistant.

Voters who can't read English may use interpreters at the polls. If a voter is physically unable to enter a polling place, curbside voting is also available.

Do I need identification to vote?

Yes. You must present one of the seven acceptable forms of photo ID, which include a Texas driver’s license, an election identification certificate and a U.S. passport.

If you don’t have a photo ID you can fill out a declaration at your polling place, where you must also present one of the acceptable forms of supporting ID, such as a certified copy of a domestic birth certificate, current utility bill, bank statement, paycheck, or government check; or the voter registration certificate from your county voter registrar.

If you have an acceptable photo ID but don’t have it at your polling place, you can still vote a provisional ballot. You will have six days — until Monday, Nov. 14 — to present the acceptable ID to your county registrar or to process an exemption in order for your vote to count.

Editor’s note: This guide was updated on June 6, 2022, with candidates who've qualified for the general election. The guide was first published on July 30, 2020.

Also of Interest:

This story is provided by AARP Texas. Visit the AARP Texas page for more news, events, and programs affecting retirement, health care, and more.

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