How to vote in a primary election

Posted on 02/21/2020 by Austin Chamber of Commerce

Candidates are block walking and door knocking, and if you’ve turned on the TV, listened to the radio, or opened a newspaper, you know there’s an election happening soon. But aside from the presidential race, who exactly are all these people and what are they running for?

Here’s a primer to the 2020 primary election in Texas to (hopefully) answer most of your election questions.

What is a primary election?

In Texas, the primary election is split up into two parties: Democratic and Republican.

A primary voter (that’s you!) must choose which primary to vote in. You’re only allowed to vote in one primary.

The winner of each primary race (baring any runoff elections) goes on to run in the general election in November.

How do I choose which primary to vote in?

Texas has an open primary system, which means people don’t register for a political party. However, you still have to choose which party’s primary election to vote in because you can only vote in one.

How do I know what I’m voting for?

If you live in Travis County, visit and submit your information to view a sample ballot.

How do I figure out who to vote for?

There are many resources out there to help you decide who to vote for: candidates’ websites, news articles, endorsement lists from advocacy groups. Once you know who is on your ballot, you can do your own research about who a candidate is and what their stances on issues are.

When and where can I vote?

Early Voting runs from Feb. 18-28. Primary Election Day is on Mar. 3. If you live in Travis County, you can find polling locations at

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