What You Need To Know Before Voting In The Runoff Elections In North Texas | KERA News

What You Need To Know Before Voting In The Runoff Elections In North Texas

May 20, 2018

The March primary elections knocked out dozens of Democratic and Republican candidates in crowded races across North Texas.

But not every race had a clear winner. If a single candidate did not win a majority of the votes in the primary, the two candidates who earned the most votes head into a runoff election. 

In Tuesday's runoffs, North Texas voters will choose the Democratic gubernatorial candidate to challenge Gov. Greg Abbott, the matchup for U.S. Rep. Joe Barton's seat, the Republican vying for one of just four places on the Dallas County Commissioners Court and more contenders for the midterm elections this fall.

Find information on North Texas races, polling places, voter identification and more in our guide.

Dates to know

Election Day is Tuesday, May 22. Early voting ran from Monday, May 14 to Friday, May 18. The last day to apply for a mail-in ballot was Friday, May 11. The deadline to register to vote was April 23 — find out if you’re registered.

Where to vote

If you're voting early, you can choose which polling station to cast your ballot, as long as it’s within the county you’re registered in. On Election Day, though, you must vote at the polling place assigned to your precinct. Find your precinct. (Links go to Election Day voting locations.)

What to bring

After a judge ruled the Texas 2011 voter ID law discriminatory, Texas scaled back on its voter ID requirements. The acceptable forms of ID now 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)

With the exception of the U.S. citizenship certificate, ID must be current or have expired no more than four years before being presented at the polling place.

If you don’t have any of the above forms of ID and there was a reasonable impediment or difficulty obtaining one, the following supporting forms of ID can be presented:

  • Copy or original of a government document that shows the voter’s name and an address, including the voter’s voter registration certificate
  • Copy of or original current utility bill
  • Copy of or original bank statement
  • Copy of or original government check
  • Copy of or original paycheck
  • Copy of or original of (a) a certified domestic (from a U.S. state or territory) birth certificate or (b) a document confirming birth admissible in a court of law which establishes the voter’s identity (which may include a foreign birth document).

After presenting a supporting form of ID, you’ll have to sign a Reasonable Impediment Declaration. Learn more about voter ID.

Voting by mail

The deadline to request a mail-in ballot was Friday, May 11. It had to have been received by your county clerk's office by that date. According to the Secretary of State’s office, you can apply if:

  • You are 65 years or older.
  • You are disabled.
  • You will be out of the county on Election Day and during the period for early voting in person.
  • You are in jail, but otherwise eligible.

Once you have received your ballot in the mail, complete it and send it to the return address indicated. Your completed ballot has to be received by 7 p.m. on Tuesday, May 22 if the carrier envelope is not postmarked. If it is postmarked by 7 p.m. Tuesday, it will be accepted until 5 p.m. on Wednesday, May 23.

What's on the ballot

Enter your address to see all of the races and candidates that will be on your ballot in this interactive ballot builder. 

Or, check out the sample ballots in your county below:

North Texas Races

 Governor (Democrat)

Houston businessman Andrew White and former Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez are the remaining Democratic candidates for governor after the primary weeded out seven other hopefuls. The winner of the Democratic primary runoff advances to the fall election. Incumbent Gov. Greg Abbott easily won the Republican nomination. He’s raised more than $40 million for his re-election campaign. Valdez served as sheriff for 13 years and spent decades in law enforcement. Andrew White is the son of former Texas Gov. Mark White, who died last August. The Democratic opponents held their first and only debate on May 11.

U.S. House District 3 (Democrat)

In early 2017, Rep. Sam Johnson, R-Richardson, announced he would retire after 26 years in Congress. Texas’ 3rd Congressional District is strongly Republican and covers much of Collin County, including McKinney, Plano, Frisco and a portion of Dallas. Coincidentally, another man named Sam Johnson, an attorney, is running as a Democrat for the Plano-based seat against Democrat Lorie Burch, who’s also an attorney. Whoever wins the runoff will face Plano Republican Van Taylor in November. He stepped down from his state Senate seat to run for Congress. More on the District 3 runoff.

U.S. House District 5 (Republican)

Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Dallas, announced last fall that he would retire after 14 years in Congress. Texas’ 5th Congressional District includes part of southeast Dallas County, including Mesquite, and stretches cross Anderson, Cherokee, Henderson and Kaufman counties. The race to fill the open seat was crowded with eight Republican primary candidates. The runoff will determine if either Lance Gooden or Bunni Pounds will face lone Democrat Dan Wood in the fall. Gooden left his District 4 seat in the Texas House to run for Congress. Pounds, a GOP fundraiser, has been endorsed by Hensarling. More on the District 5 runoff.

U.S. House District 6 (Democrat and Republican)

After Rep. Joe Barton, R-Ennis, announced he was retiring amid a scandal, 16 candidates — 11 Republicans and five Democrats — competed in the March primary for the open seat. In the Democratic primary runoff, Jana Lynne Sanchez, a public relations consultant, will face off against Ruby Faye Woolridge, a retired teacher who ran for the seat in 2016. On the Republican side, former Navy pilot Jake Ellzey will compete against Ron Wright, a former staffer to Barton and Arlington City Council member. Wright stepped down as the Tarrant County Tax Assessor to run. Barton’s been in office for more than three decades, making him the longest-serving Texan in Congress. Texas 6th Congressional District stretches from Arlington in Tarrant County through Ellis and Navarro Counties. More on the Republican runoff and Democratic runoff

U.S. House District 32 (Democrat)

Democrats Colin Allred and Lillian Salerno are vying to challenge Republican incumbent Pete Sessions in November. Both Allred and Salerno are Obama administration alumni. Allred, also a former NFL linebacker, worked as a civil rights lawyer in the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Salerno was a political appointee in the Agriculture Department. During the 2016 presidential election, more District 32 voters cast votes for Hillary Clinton. But Sessions has been in Congress for two decades. A former head of the National Republican Congressional Committee, Sessions is a strong fundraiser with more than $1 million in the bank. Texas’ 32nd Congressional District covers northern Dallas and areas to the north and east. More on the District 32 runoff.

Texas House District 107 (Republican)

Businesswoman and Mesquite native Deanna Maria Metzger and Joe Ruzicka, a Navy veteran and resident of East Dallas, are competing for the Republican nomination for Texas House District 107. The district covers parts of Mesquite, Garland and Dallas. The winner will face Democratic incumbent Victoria Neave in November.

Texas House District 109 (Democrat)

Business owner Deshaundra Lockhart Jones and Carl Sherman, the former mayor of Balch Springs, are hoping to replace longtime state Rep. Helen Giddings, D-Desoto, who’s retiring from the Texas House after 13 terms. No Republicans are running, so the runoff will determine the next representative of Texas House District 109, which wraps around Dallas to the south.

Texas House District 64 (Democrat)

Andrew Morris, a native of Yorkshire, England who works a software company, and financial adviser Mat Pruneda of Denton are competing for the Democratic nomination in the state House race. District 64 represents Denton and parts of surrounding towns. The runoff winner will face Republican incumbent Lynn Stucky in the fall.

Tarrant County Tax Assessor-Collector (Republican)

Ron Wright left his position as tax assessor to run for Congress. Former KXAS-TV anchorman Mike Snyder and former Mansfield councilwoman Wendy Burgess are competing for the Republican nomination. The winner will face Democrat Ollie Anderson in November. The Tarrant County Tax Assessor’s office calculates taxes due, sends out the bills, collects the money and sends revenue collected to the taxing entities, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Dallas County Commissioners Court (Republican)

Dallas attorney J.J. Koch and former state District Judge Vickers "Vic" Cunningham are in a runoff for the Republican nomination for northern Dallas County's Precinct 2. Cunningham has made headlines recently for admitting he set up a living trust with a clause rewarding his children if they marry a white person. Whoever wins the runoff will face Democratic challenger Wini Cannon in the fall. With the retirement of longtime Commissioner Mike Cantrell, the seat is vacant for the first time since 1994. The court is divided into four districts and commissioners each serve a four-year term. More about the Dallas County Commissioners Court.

Dallas County Democratic judges

Three incumbent Democratic judges in Dallas County risk losing their court after the primary forced them into runoffs. Martin Hoffman, who presides over the 68th District Court, and attorney Kim Brown will meet in a runoff. In the 193rd District Court, state District Judge Carl Ginsberg is in a runoff with attorney Bridgett Whitmore. County Court at Law Judge Ken Tapscott is in a runoff with attorney Paula Rosales. Because the county has broadly voted Democratic for a decade, the winners in these runoffs will likely become the next sitting judges. And in court No. 2 of the Criminal Court of Appeals, attorneys Pamela Luther and Marilynn Mayse will square off. There are no Republican challengers.

Note: This post previously included a Democratic runoff for the District 12 State Board of Education seat. That race is no longer on the ballot after one of the candidates withdrew. Suzanne Smith is the Democrat's nominee.