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From 1836 to 1845, the Republic of Texas elected its own presidents. In 1845, it was admitted to the United States as the state of Texas, and has been a participant in every presidential election since, except for 1864 and 1868. Texas did not participate in these due to its secession from the United States to join the Confederate States of America on February 1, 1861, and its status as an unreconstructed state in 1868 following the American Civil War.
Texas gubernatorial elections, as well as other state office races, are held every four years on the nationwide Election Day, which is the Tuesday after the first Monday in November. They are held on years that are even-numbered, but not multiples of four, also known as a midterm, so they do not coincide with the presidential elections. Texas Senate elections for half of the chamber are held every two years on Election Day, with all of the chamber up for election on cycles after major redistricting takes place. Texas House elections are held every two years on Election Day.
For about a hundred years, from after Reconstruction until the 1990s, the Democratic Party dominated Texas politics, making part of the Solid South. In a reversal of alignments, since the late 1960s, the Republican Party has grown more prominent. By the 1990s, it became the state's dominant political party and remains so to this day, as Democrats have not won a statewide race since the 1994 Lieutenant gubernatorial election. Texas is a majority Republican state with Republicans controlling every statewide office. Texas Republicans have majorities in the State House and Senate, an entirely Republican Texas Supreme Court, control of both Senate seats in the US Congress. Texas is America's most-populous Republican state. Many commentators had suggested that Texas is trending Democratic since 2016, however, Republicans have continued to win every statewide office, albeit by reduced margins, as it was the third-closest state Republicans won in 2020.
In a 2020 study, Texas was ranked as the hardest state for citizens to vote in.
Voting system Edit
|Year||Republican / Whig||Democratic||Third party|
To reduce the amount of time required to fill electoral vacancies, in special elections Texas dispenses with party primaries and instead uses a jungle primary system. Candidates of all parties (or no party) appear on the same ballot; if no single one of them receives 50 percent plus 1 vote, the two highest vote-getters also advance to a runoff irrespective of party affiliation.
Texas has two uniform election dates, the first Saturday in May, and the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November.
Voting rights in Texas
|Poll taxes||Abolished 1964|
|Literacy tests abolished||N/A|
|Minimum voting age||18|
|Preregistration age||17 and 10 months|
|Felon voting status||No, unless sentence fully discharged or pardoned|
|Voter registration required||Yes|
|Online voter registration||No|
|Automatic voter registration||No|
|Polling place identification requirements||Yes, 7 accepted forms of photo ID:
Texas Driver License
Texas Election Identification Certificate
Texas Personal Identification Card
Texas Handgun License
United States Military Identification Card containing the person’s photograph
United States Citizenship Certificate containing the person’s photographUnited States Passport (book or card)
|In-person early-voting status||17 days prior up to 4 days before|
|Out-of-precinct voting status||In select counties approved by Secretary of State of Texas|
|Postal ballot status||Limited to those with one of 6 acceptable excuses:
65 years of age or older
Sick or disabled
Expecting to give birth within three weeks of Election Day
Absent from the county of registration during the Early Voting period and on Election Day
Civilly committed under Chapter 841 of the Texas Health and Safety CodeConfined in jail, but otherwise eligible.
|Permanent list postal ballot status||Apply yearly if disabled or 65+|
|Ballot collection status||Household member, relative, or lawful assistant|
|Straight-ticket device status||no|
|Election method||First past the post|
|Redistricting system||Computer generated districts voted on by state legislature|
|Ballot question rights||No|
|Recall powers||Only local offices in Home Rule cities that have included recall in their charter|
|Federal representation level||State level|
Voting rights and voter powers Edit
Texas uses an open primary for all partisan offices. Counties have a choice between separate or joint primaries. In this system, voters may vote in either party's primary, without being affiliated with said party. Joint primaries take place at the same time and location, and voters must indicate to election staff which party primary they would like to participate in.
If there is a runoff election, voters may only participate in the runoff of the party they affiliated with in the primary. Party affiliation expires at the end of the voting year in which affiliation was established.
- 2024 Texas elections
- 2023 Texas elections
- 2022 Texas elections
- 2021 Texas elections
- 2020 Texas elections
- 2022 Texas gubernatorial election
- 2018 Texas gubernatorial election
- 2014 Texas gubernatorial election
- 2010 Texas gubernatorial election
- 2006 Texas gubernatorial election
- 2024 United States Senate election in Texas
- 2020 United States Senate election in Texas
- 2018 United States Senate election in Texas
- 2014 United States Senate election in Texas
- 2012 United States Senate election in Texas
Ballot propositions Edit
See also Edit
Further reading Edit
- Nina Perales; Luis Figueroa; Criselda G. Rivas (2006), Voting rights in Texas, 1982-2006 (PDF), Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, OCLC 837607742
- Nick Corasaniti; Stephanie Saul; Patricia Mazzei (September 13, 2020), "Big Voting Decisions in Florida, Wisconsin, Texas: What They Mean for November", New York Times, archived from the original on September 13, 2020,
Both parties are waging legal battles around the country over who gets to vote and how
- "Texas secedes from the Union, Feb. 1, 1861". POLITICO. February 2018. Retrieved 2023-02-02.
- "GOP's Abbott wins 3rd term as Texas governor, beats O'Rourke". Associated Press. 8 November 2022.
- "Texas is Entering Third Decade of Republican Control". 23 November 2022.
- J. Pomante II, Michael; Li, Quan (15 Dec 2020). "Cost of Voting in the American States: 2020". Election Law Journal: Rules, Politics, and Policy. 19 (4): 503–509. doi:10.1089/elj.2020.0666. S2CID 225139517. Retrieved 14 January 2022.
- "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections - Presidential General Election Results Comparison - Texas". Uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved October 21, 2022.
- "ELECTION CODE CHAPTER 2. VOTE REQUIRED FOR ELECTION TO OFFICE". statutes.capitol.texas.gov. Retrieved 2023-02-02.
- "ELECTION CODE CHAPTER 41. ELECTION DATES AND HOURS FOR VOTING". statutes.capitol.texas.gov. Retrieved 2023-05-06.
- "ELECTION CODE CHAPTER 172. PRIMARY ELECTIONS". statutes.capitol.texas.gov. Retrieved 2023-05-06.
- "Glossary of Elections Terminology". www.sos.state.tx.us. Retrieved 2023-05-06.
- Elections Division at the Texas Secretary of State official website
- Texas at Ballotpedia
- Government Documents Round Table of the American Library Association, "Texas", Voting & Elections Toolkits
- University of Texas Libraries, "Voting and Elections", Research Guides
- "League of Women Voters of Texas". (State affiliate of the U.S. League of Women Voters)
- Digital Public Library of America. Assorted materials related to Texas elections
- "State Elections Legislation Database", Ncsl.org, Washington, D.C.: National Conference of State Legislatures,
State legislation related to the administration of elections introduced in 2011 through this year, 2020