It’s Election time! No, it’s not deja vu. Cities and municipalities across Texas are preparing [yet again] to get a final say in electing their city councils, school boards, and mayors in the Municipal Runoff Elections happening in places like San Antonio, Dallas, and Fort Worth. At MOVE Texas, we’re all about local democracy, it’s where we started out, and we want to make sure you know everything you need to know to weigh in and cast your vote.
But I thought we just had an election?
You’re right, we did! A runoff is a second election that’s held if none of the candidates earn the minimum percentage of votes they need to win the first time. In Texas, a runoff happens between the two candidates with the most votes when neither of them get over 50% of the vote in the general/primary election.
Refresher: Municipal Election is an election held within a city, town, or rural municipality to elect local representatives, such as mayors, city council members, and school boards, as well as vote on ballot propositions. Municipal Elections were held on May 1st, 2021. Now we’re going into runoffs.
Civics 101: A ballot proposition is a mechanism that gives voters the opportunity to introduce initiatives or to get a direct say in the direction they think their city should take on a specific issue. It could look like a bond election, a referendum, or a charter amendment, and it’s generally placed on the ballot for either the approval or rejection of the voters. [There are no runoffs for propositions]
Boy, for a state that makes it so hard to vote, we sure do love elections!
EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO MAKE A PLAN TO VOTE
Important Point : The deadline to register for the May 1st Municipal Election was April 1st, 2021. Click here to check if you’re registered to vote!
Only cuties vote early (if you vote early you’re a cutie, that’s the rule). It’s the best, most flexible, and absolute safest way to vote!
- Begins Monday, May 24thand goes on through Tuesday, June 1st
VOTING BY MAIL
According to the Texas Secretary of State (the person in charge of our elections), you are eligible to vote by mail if you are:
- 65 years or older
- Out of the county on election day and during the period for early voting by personal appearance
- Confined in jail, but otherwise eligible
The deadline to apply for a vote by mail ballot is Tuesday, May 25th. To be clear, your county election’s department must receive your application by the deadline. Find an application here. Once you receive your ballot after you apply, make sure it is returned to your county’s elections department by no later than June 5th.
We’re celebrating vaccines as much as you are, but remember y’all we’re still in a whole pandemic. Although we wish the state could have done more for you, sadly so many will still have to choose between their health and their vote come Election Day. If you choose to go to the polls, once again, wear your mask, wear gloves, bring hand sanitizer, bring your own pen, and keep your distance.
- Municipal Election Day: Saturday, June 5th
If you see your county on this list, yeehaw! It means your county participates in the “countywide polling place program” which is a fancy way of saying you can vote at *any* polling place in your county on Election Day, not just at your assigned precinct location. Yay for pro-voter convenience.
You’ve made it this far – you can have a lil playlist as a treat! We put together some of our favorite Texans to listen to while you’re in line to vote. Thanks for being a voter!
WHAT YOU NEED TO BRING
All you’ll need to actually vote is a little time out of your day one valid form of I.D. The acceptable forms of ID are
- Texas Driver License
- Texas Election Certificate
- Texas Personal I.D.
- Texas Handgun License
- U.S. Military I.D. (w/ picture)
- Citizenship or Naturalization Certificate (w/ picture)
- U.S. Passport (book or card)
If you don’t have access to any of these, you can request a “Reasonable Impediment Declaration” and present any one of these alternative forms of identification:
- Birth Certificate
- Current Utility Bill
- Government Check
- Any other government document with your name and address
How do I get there?
No ride, no problem. Our friends at RideShare2Vote can help ya out with a *free* round trip to the polls and back. Just make sure you request your ride 2 hours in advance!
You can either
1.) Download their app RideShare2Vote on the Google or Apple store
2.) Call their toll free number (888) 977-2250
3.) Request a ride using this link: https://rideshare2vote.com/upgrade/request-a-ride/#webrequest
Who am I voting for?
This year, we thought we’d change it up a bit and get a little self directed videos going. Democracy diaries? Candidate confessionals? Ignore us. Anywayssss, we asked candidates for the San Antonio and Dallas municipal elections to submit a short video to MOVE Texas breaking down to young voters why they deserve your vote.
We know that young people care about voting rights, climate justice, and criminal justice reform and want elected officials who do too, so we asked each of em’ to talk about it!
As much as we hate to say it, not everyone got back to us, so for some candidates we’ve gathered up their campaign website information in a one stop shop for you so that there’s still something to reference while you’re making your decision on who to vote for.
Find your Dallas candidates your San Antonio candidates here!