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May 1 Election Guide: What Tarrant County voters should know

This election cycle is centered on local races, like city council seats. North Texans should pay attention— those are some of the positions that affect us most.
Credit: Martin Doporto
An election worker in Tarrant County waits for voters to drive up and drop off their absentee ballots.

TARRANT COUNTY, Texas — Tarrant County voters have some major decisions on their ballots this election cycle, from city council and mayoral races in Arlington and Fort Worth to an open U.S. House seat covering a swath of North Texas. 

And it's not just a number of open seats— there are dozens of people running for them too, with many local races featuring five or more candidates each. Or, in the case of that open U.S. House seat, a grand total of 23 people vying for one spot. 

With so many candidates running, it's quite possible plenty of local races will head to run-off elections sometime later this summer. Some jurisdictions require candidates to reach a majority of the vote, which is more than 50%, to outright win. With so many candidates in a single race, that can be hard to do. The top two vote-getters will head into a runoff typically if no one candidate gets the majority of the vote.  

Below, WFAA has compiled a list of many of the bigger races in Tarrant County and other general information voters should know before heading to polls.

Early voting starts April 19 and runs through April 27. Election Day is May 1.

How to check if you're registered

To be eligible to vote, you must be a U.S. citizen over 18 years old on Election Day. You also must have a valid Texas or federal photo ID to cast a ballot, although there are certain exemptions to that.

You must be registered in order to vote in Texas. You can check online to see if you are currently registered to vote. 

Those who wish to vote by mail must submit their application for a mail-in ballot no later than April 20.

To vote by mail in Texas, you must be: 

  • 65 years or older
  • disabled
  • out of the county on Election Day and during early voting
  • confined in jail

Ballots submitted by mail must be received by election workers by 7 p.m. on May 1, with a few exceptions.

Where do I vote? How to find your polling place

Voters can visit any early voting location in their county during early voting, and in some counties, they can vote at any polling location on Election Day as well. 

You will want to see if the county you live in participates in the Countywide Polling Place Program. If your county does participate in CWPP, you can vote at any polling place in the county. If your county does not participate in the program, you can only vote at the polling place assigned to you on Election Day.

On May 1, polling places across Texas will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

What do I need to vote? 

When you head to the polls, you need one of the following forms of ID to cast your vote.

  • Texas Driver License issued by the Texas Department of Public Safety 
  • 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)

Your driver's license does NOT need to be REAL ID compliant, according to the Secretary of State's office.

The photo ID must be current, or, for voters under the age of 70, have not expired more than four years prior to voting. Those age 70 and older can use any expired photo ID that otherwise remains correct, no matter how long it has been expired.

Your address on your photo ID does not need to match the address you used to register to vote.

Don’t have one of those? Here are supporting forms of ID.

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

What's on my ballot?

Tarrant County voters can find a sample ballot specific to their address by visiting the county's elections website. 

Below, WFAA has compiled a look at some of the noteworthy races happening in Tarrant County this cycle. For more information about a candidate or a position, click on the hyperlink.

U.S. House of Representatives: 

District 6 seat 

There are 23 candidates running for this seat, which covers part of Tarrant County, in addition to all of Ellis and Navarro counties. Cities in District 6's Tarrant County section include much of Arlington, Crowley, part of Grand Prairie, part of Fort Worth and much of Mansfield, among others. 

The seat was left vacant after former Rep. Ron Wright died earlier this year while hospitalized with COVID-19. 

With so many candidates running, it's likely this race could go to a run-off. A run-off election will occur if no one candidate gets 50+1 percent of the vote. The top two vote-getters would then go on to have a runoff election sometime afterwards, as decided by the governor and Texas election law. 

The winner will then take up the remainder of Wright's term in office. Here's a list of the 23 people who have thrown their hats into the ring, divided by political party.

Republican

There are 11 candidates running as Republicans for the seat.

Democrat

There are 10 candidates running as Democrats for the seat.

Libertarian

Phil Gray

Independent

Adrian Mizher

Arlington Mayor

Arlington City Council

District 3: Covers southeast section of the city. Click here for a map of the city council districts.

District 4: Covers the west-central section of the city. Click here for a map of the city council districts.

District 5: Covers the central and east-central section of the city. Click here for a map of the city council districts.

District 8: Elected at-large, this councilmember represents the entire city.

Flower Mound Mayor

Fort Worth Mayor

RELATED: Meet the candidates for Fort Worth mayor

RELATED: Heads up, Fort Worth voters: You have 2 pages of mayoral candidates to choose from

Fort Worth City Council

District 2: Covers north-central section of the city. Click here for a map of the districts.

District 3: Covers the southwest section of the city. Click here for a map of the districts.

District 4: Covers an east-central section of the city, as well a central northern piece of Fort Worth. Click here for a map of the districts.

District 5: Covers an east-central stretch of the city from near Forest Hill to Euless. Click here for a map of the districts.

District 6: Covers a central-southern section of the city. Click here for a map of the districts.

District 7: Covers a stretch around the west-northwest section of the city. Click here for a map of the districts.

District 8: Covers a central and eastern southern section of the city. Click here for a map of the districts.

District 9: Covers a central section of the city. Click here for a map of the districts.

Grand Prairie City Council

District 6: Covers areas north and south of Joe Pool Lake. Click here to see the district on a map.

Place 8: Elected by the city at-large and represents the entire city 

Grapevine Mayor

Grapevine City Council

Place 2: Elected at-large to represent the entire city.

Community Impact Newspaper held a Q&A with the three candidates. To read their thoughts, click here.

Haltom City Mayor

Haltom City Council

Place 1:

Place 7: 

Keller City Council

Councilmembers are elected by the city at-large and represent the entire city.

Place 1:

Place 2:

Mansfield City Council

Councilmembers are elected by the city at-large and represent the entire city.

Place 3: 

Place 4:

Place 5: 

North Richland Hills City Council

Councilmembers are elected by the city at-large and represent the entire city.

Place 5: