For many people, Election Day means the Tuesday after the first Monday in November. But Texas has another election each year in May. Many towns, counties and school districts — though not all — have candidates on the ballot.
The upcoming election will be held on May 6. The in-person early voting period will run from April 24 until May 2. Applications for mail-in ballots must be received by Tuesday, April 25.
And most importantly for people who want to vote in May, April 6 is the last day to register. And if you have questions about that, we’ve got you covered.
Bethany Albertson, an associate professor in the department of government at UT-Austin, said May elections tend to be local matters like school board candidates or municipal bonds.
“The November election is going to be your general election where you have the major races everybody tends to pay attention to — statewide officials, or we’re voting for federal government offices,” she said. “May elections are going to be local issues. Your county could have measures about bonds. They could have measures about funding issues that are important to the daily lives of many Texans.”
If you need to register to vote, Albertson said you can get an application from the secretary of state online at votetexas.gov.
“The site will allow you to print out a voter registration application,” she said. “You can’t turn it in online, though. You have to get it to your county election office.”
Applications can also be picked up in person at your local county clerk’s office.
If you want to vote this May but you are unsure if you are registered, Albertson said the first step is to check.
“The first thing I tell people to do is just check your registration, make sure your registration is current, and you can do that online through the secretary of state’s office. And if you’ve moved either within your county or across county lines or if you’ve changed your name, that’s a reason to update your registration,” she said. “Texas doesn’t make it easy for you to register in that you have to do it in person or mail in your registration, but you can make these changes online.”
These changes can also be made at votetexas.gov, Albertson said.
Voter registration does not expire, Albertson said, but if you haven’t voted in a while it is extra important to check to see if your registration is active.
“They do go through voter rolls and make sure that the registrations are current. And you would want to just double check and make sure you haven’t been purged in a recent cleaning,” she said. “You don’t want to get caught in that.”