Outside polling places in North Texas, the signs are up as Texans across the state began to cast their ballots Monday. Starting Feb. 14 through Feb. 25, Texans can now cast their vote early in the Texas primary.
At one polling place outside on Mountain Creek Parkway and Park Lane, operations ran smoothly with voters looking to cast their ballot on day one.
“[We are] getting it done, putting it behind us, and just letting our voice be heard,” voter Suzanne Bassett said.
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“I think it's an exciting time this year. I think it's a lot at stake and I am really looking forward to it,” said voter Roger Kennedy.
“I don't want to be one of those people who gripe about what's going on in Austin, or what is going on in DC and I didn't do anything about it. This gives me a chance to do something about it,” said voter Reggie Brown.
The governor's race and other top state offices are on the ballot this year. It is the midterm elections, so every U.S and Texas House members are up for re-election too.
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Covering politics throughout the state of Texas.
Democrats are in a big push to turn Texas blue with former Congressman Beto O'Rourke leading the field in the gubernatorial race.
“We want to encourage everybody to get out and vote. Right now is the time to make our voices heard,” said Kristy Noble, Dallas County Democratic Party Chairwoman.
Republicans, meanwhile, want to make sure Texas remains red.
Gov. Greg Abbott is fighting off multiple primary candidates including former state senator Don Huffines.
If we see a large turnout in the primaries we are going to see an even larger turnout in the general election, so I do think it builds a lot of momentum,” Jennifer Stoddard Hajdu, Dallas County Republican Party Chairwoman, said.
This is the first election since new voting laws were passed in Texas though officials say operations are expected to run smoothly as in previous elections.
“Inside the polling places you are going to see the procedures being probably close to identical to what they were last year or the year before,” said Bruce Sherbet, Collin County Elections Administrator.
For larger counties, there are nine hours of early voting are required the first week, 12 on Saturday, and six on Sunday. Then in week two, polling locations are open 12 hours each day through Feb. 25. Specific hours are set by the counties.
If you are planning to vote by mail-in ballot, your application must be received by Friday, Feb. 18.
During early voting, voters can cast their ballot at any polling location in their county.
IMPORTANT ELECTION DATES
Oct. 24 - First day of early voting
Nov. 4 - Last day of early voting
Nov. 8 - Election Day and the last day to receive a ballot by mail that is not postmarked (7 p.m.).
Nov. 9 (5 p.m.) - Last day to receive a ballot by mail that was postmarked by 7 p.m. on Nov. 8