A First-Time Voter’s Guide to the Polls

Updated: Jul 7, 2019

By Peyton Spriester

Early voting ends November 2nd at 8pm.

It’s that time of the year: midterms! If you are 18 and have registered to vote, here are some of the most frequently asked questions, answered.

Q: When do I vote?

A: Early voting is happening right now and ends November 2nd OR you can vote on Election Day, November 6th. Polls are open at various times during early voting (hours and locations are available here), and all polls are open from 7 AM to 7 PM on Election Day.

Q: What do I have to bring?

A: All you have to bring is yourself and a form of acceptable Texas photo ID (driver’s license, learner’s permit, etc.)

Q: Where is my polling place?

A: For Early voting, you can go to any polling place. To find the one nearest you, click here and type in your address! When voting on Election Day, you must vote at your specific precinct. To find your precinct, click here and enter your address.

Q: What’s the difference between voting straight-ticket ballot and regular ballot?

A: Straight-ticket ballots allow you only to vote for Representatives of a certain party (Democratic, Republican, or Libertarian). Instead of seeing all of the candidates up for election, you will only see the candidates of the party you choose (If you choose to vote straight-ticket Republican, for example, you will only be able to vote for the Republicans who are nominated). Do your research on candidates and their positions before going to the polls!

Q: Should I vote early or on Election Day?

A: The differences between early voting and voting on Election Day are slight. In early voting, you have more selection on which day and time you would like to go, and you have more options on where to vote, since you can vote at any polling place. On Election Day, you are voting on the day that the results will be released (November 6) and you must vote at your specific precinct.

Q: What if I don’t know anything about the candidates/offices?

A: Research! Don’t go into your polling place blind. You are not allowed to have electronic devices, but you can have a slip of paper to remind you of the candidates you

researched and you’d like to vote for. The ballot is long this year, with over 50 races, so make sure you are organized and research who reflects your ideals best.

Check out this non-partisan voting guide for the midterms by the LEE Young Democrats Club* for information about races and candidates!

*NESA News is in no way affiliated with the LEE Young Democrats Club or any political party/organization.


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