As the November election approaches, there is yet another important voting day to be aware of, the primary runoff.
Early voting began on June 29 and will continue until July 10. The primary runoff election will be on July 14. The original date for the election was in May, but it was pushed back due to the pandemic. The primary runoff comes after the March 3rd primary election. In Texas, a primary runoff is when no candidate gets more than 50% of votes in a primary election, therefore, the two highest voted candidates compete in a runoff for a spot in the general election.
A Republican or Democrat ballot is available for voters. If a voter has not yet affiliated with a party, they are able to vote in either party’s primary runoff. However, If a voter voted in the primary for one party, they will only be able to vote in that party’s primary runoff election. After being affiliated with a party, a voter is not able to change or cancel their party affiliation until the end of the calendar year.
The only category on the Republican ballot is for the 2nd Court of Appeals and the two candidates are Elizabeth Beach and Brian Walker. Beach has years of experience as an attorney and district judge while Walker has extensive appellate experience. The winner will get the seat and not be on the November ballot.
As for the Democratic Party, the list is a bit more extensive. Residents can vote for U.S. Senator, which has MJ Hegar and Royce West as candidates. The winner will run against the current U.S. senator, John Cornyn in November. Other categories are U.S. Representative, Railroad Commissioner, and County Constable.
The city of Arlington is to follow Tarrant County’s voting guidelines. Both early voting and election day voting must be made in person and can be done in any polling location in Tarrant County. In Arlington, there are 7 early voting locations that can be found as a list or a map here and 31 locations for election day that can be found here. Election Day voting hours are from 7 am to 7 pm. Voters will be required to show photo identification. According to Vote Texas, the forms of acceptable photo ID are:
- Texas Driver License issued by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS)
- Texas Election Identification Certificate issued by DPS
- Texas Personal Identification Card issued by DPS
- Texas Handgun License issued by DPS
- United States Military Identification Card containing the person’s photograph
- United States Citizenship Certificate containing the person’s photograph
- United States Passport (book or card)
For voters who have applied for a mail-in ballot, the last day to return it is Tuesday, July 14 at 7:00 p.m. if carrier envelope is not postmarked, or Wednesday, July 15 at 5:00 p.m. if carrier envelope is postmarked by 7:00 p.m. at the location of the election on Election Day (unless overseas or military voter deadlines apply), according to Vote Texas.
Tarrant County polling places will follow safety guidelines of social distancing, providing hand sanitizer, and while not enforced, wearing a mask is highly encouraged,
Registering to vote in the primary runoff is over, but Texans can still register for the general election by October 5.