THE HOUSTON VOTERS GUIDE!
The League of Women Voters of Houston Voters Guide is your nonpartisan source for national, state and local election information to help you prepare to head to the polls. Learn more about how we assemble the Voters Guide.
How to Access the Voters Guide
Compare candidates, find what's on your ballot, build a sample ballot and print your selections. VOTE!
Where to Vote
Choose the location that is most convenient to you. You are not required to vote in your home precinct, even on Election Day.
Find a polling location for Early Voting here.
- Find a drive-through Early Voting location here.
- Find a polling location for 24-hour Early Voting here.
Find an Election Day Voting Center (polling place) location here.
- Find a drive-through Election Day location here.
How to Access the Voters Guide
- Last day to register to vote: Monday, October 5, 2020
- Last day to request a Ballot-by-Mail: Friday, October 23, 2020 - Click here to see if you qualify and here to access an application form
- Early Voting: Tuesday, October 13 – Friday, Oct 30, 2020
- October 13 - 17: 7:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
- October 18: 12:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
- October 19 - 24: 7:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
- October 25: 12:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
- October 26: 7:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
- October 27 – 29 – 7:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m.
- October 30 – 7:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
- NEW! 24 Hour Early Voting – begins 7:00 a.m. October 29; ends 7:00 p.m. October 30
- Election Day: Tuesday, November 3, 2020: 7:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Things Every Voter Should Know
PHOTO ID IS REQUIRED TO VOTE IN PERSON IN ALL TEXAS ELECTIONS
Those voting in person either early or on election day will be required to present photo identification or an acceptable alternative identification allowed by law. Learn more here.
NEW! ANY HARRIS COUNTY POLLING LOCATION CAN BE YOUR POLLING PLACE
- Choose the location that is most convenient to you — you no longer have to return to your home precinct to vote! Call 713-755-6965 OR Go to https://www.harrisvotes.com/waittimes to find the location nearest to you. Bonus? By using the link, you will also be able to see which locations have the shortest wait times.
- There will be 120 Early Voting locations, including 112 in-person locations and 10 drive thru locations. Click here for a complete list of locations.
- On Election Day voters may choose from 808 in-person locations and 10 drive thru locations. Click here for complete list locations.
SINGLE PARTY VOTING IS NO LONGER AN OPTION WHEN VOTING IN PERSON
Voters will have to select their preferred candidate in each race. To make the process faster, you may bring a list of those that you want to vote for into the polling place. A sample of your personal ballot is available here; you may print it, mark your choices and bring it with you into the polling booth. Note: If there are races where you do not wish to select a candidate, you may skip that race(s). Before hitting the “VOTE” button, be sure to check the vote summary section to ensure that you have correctly voted in all of the races where you want to make a selection. Poll workers can assist you, if you have technical questions.
ELECTRONIC DEVICES MAY NOT BE USED INSIDE THE POLLING PLACE
Texas voters are not permitted to use cell phones or other electronic devices inside the polling place for any reason, including to access a list of preferred candidates. You may use a paper copy of the list of candidates that you plan to select.
VOTING IS YOUR RIGHT
Should you encounter any problems at the poll, you may always ask to cast a Provisional Ballot. You may also contact the County Clerk’s office at 713-755-6965, the Texas Secretary of State Election Division at 1-800-252-8683, or the United States Department of Justice at 1-800-253-3931 if you believe that your right to vote is being unlawfully denied or impeded.
YOU MAY QUALIFY TO VOTE BY MAIL
Voters may cast mail ballots if:
- They are at least 65 years old
- They will be out of Harris County during the Early Voting period and on Election Day
- They are incarcerated but eligible to vote
- They are sick or disabled*
*Definition of what qualifies as a disability and what it means in the age of coronovirus (COVID-19). Under Texas law, you qualify as having a disability if you are sick, pregnant, or if voting in person will create a likelihood of injury to your health. The Texas Supreme Court has ruled that lack of immunity to COVID-19 can be considered as a factor in your decision as to whether voting in person will create a likelihood of injury to your health, but it cannot be the only factor. You do not qualify to vote by mail as “disabled” if you have a fear of contracting COVID-19 but are otherwise healthy. To qualify, you must have an accompanying physical condition. If you do not qualify as “disabled,” you may still qualify in one of the other categories (1-3 above).
REQUESTING A BALLOT BY MAIL
Mail ballots may be requested by visiting harrisvotes.com or by phoning 713-755-6965. You can learn more about if you qualify, including court rulings regarding COVID-19 and voting by mail here. Download an application here.
A signed paper copy of your ballot by mail request must be received no later than Friday, October 23, 2020. Requests received by fax or email will not be honored.
RETURNING A BALLOT BY MAIL
A completed mail ballot MUST be returned to the Harris County Clerk’s Office in the Official Carrier Envelope provided to you. It may be returned in any of the following manners:
- Regular residential mail via United States Postal Service;
a. Ballot must be postmarked by 7:00 p.m. on Election Day and must be received by 5:00 p.m. on November 4 (the day after Election Day)
- In-person drop off at NRG (NRG Arena – Hall D, NRG Pkwy, Houston, TX 77054) during regular business hours; during Early Voting period: Mondays through Saturdays from 7 am - 7 pm and Sundays from 12 pm – 7pm; or on Election Day (November 3, 2020) from 7 am – 7 pm.;
a. You must present an acceptable form of photo identification. Find a list of acceptable ID here
b. If a voter does not possess and cannot reasonably obtain an acceptable form of photo identification, the voter may show a List B identification and complete a reasonable impediment declaration (RID). Find a list of acceptable ID here
c. Only the voter may deliver their ballot in person
- Common or contract carrier; such as personal courier, or FedEx or UPS, or other contracted mail service;
a. Ballot must be received by 7:00 p.m. on Election Day
b. If the carrier provides receipt mark indicating a time before 7:00 p.m. on Election Day, it may be received by 5:00 p.m. on November 4 (the day after Election Day)
Learn more about Military and Overseas guidelines and exceptions here.
Voting for Judges in Texas is a "Big" Deal
Although in some states judges are appointed, most judges in Texas are elected. Voting decision in judicial races are among the most important that a Texas voter makes. Judges make decisions about fundamental issues that affect all of us—family life, education, healthcare, housing, employment, finances, discrimination, civil rights, public safety, and government actions. Those decisions can have long-lasting impact on individuals, groups, and the public as a whole. It is critical that our judges make fair decisions based upon open-minded and unbiased consideration of the facts and the law in each case. Judges must know the law and not be influenced by any external political and economic factors.
Unlike candidates for most political offices, judicial candidates cannot make promises about decisions they would make when certain issues or types of cases come up in their court. Questions posed to judges, therefore, focus on improvements they would make to their court, the need for impartiality and how they would increase access to justice.
According to the American Bar Association, principles to consider in selection of judges include:
- Judges should uphold the rule of law.
- Judges should be independent and impartial.
- Judges should possess the appropriate temperament and character.
- Judges should possess the appropriate capabilities and credentials.
- Judges and the judiciary should have the confidence of the public.
- The judicial system should be diverse and reflective of the society it serves.
- Judges should be constrained to perform their duties in a manner that justifies public faith and confidence in the court.
How the League Assembles the Voters Guide
The League of Women Voters of Houston contacted all candidates in contested races for the following offices: US House of Representatives, Texas Senate, Texas House, Criminal and Civil District Court, Criminal and Civil County Court at Law, County Probate Court, Commissioners Court, Sheriff, District Attorney, County Tax Assessor/Collector, County Attorney, County Board of Education Trustee, Justice of the Peace and Constable. These candidates were asked to respond to our candidate questionnaire with biographical information and answers to questions about important issues. Presidential candidates were contacted by the League of Women Voters of the United States. Statewide Candidates and candidates serving jurisdictions that cross county lines are contacted by the League of Women Voters of Texas.
Each candidate’s response is reproduced exactly as submitted without editing or verification. Each candidate is personally and solely responsible for the content of his/her response.
Candidates are advised that their responses are character limited. Candidates who fail to respond to our invitation to participate in the Voters Guide are listed with the notation, “No Response Received.” Candidates without a photo did not submit one.
The League of Women Voters does not request responses from unopposed candidates. Names of unopposed candidates are listed followed by the notation “Unopposed.”
Candidates are advised that the League of Women Voters reserves the right not to print obscenities, slurs, or egregious personal attacks.
Candidates and races are listed in the order in which they will appear on the official ballot published by the Harris County Clerk.
Every effort has been made to provide the most complete, current and accurate information across all Voters Guide platforms; however, Court decisions and other circumstances may change election procedures and processes. Where changes may occur, we have provided links directly to those sites which should have the most up-to-date information.
The Voters Guide is produced by League of Women Voters Houston volunteers. We were assisted in providing the Voters Guide in Chinese and Vietnamese by members of the Houston Chinese Alliance, OCA-Greater Houston and the Institute for Civic Education in Vietnam. We appreciate their partnership!