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Voter guide: What you need to know before heading to the polls for Texas' primary runoffs

Get to know who's on the ballot and what you need to vote in the primary runoffs in Texas.

Texans will be voting during the primary runoffs on U.S. Senate candidates, U.S. representatives, judges and other local positions. 

The Democratic and Republican primary runoffs in Texas will be held on July 14. Early voting ran from June 29 to July 10. 

Here's what you need to know before you go vote: 

Am I registered to vote?

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 July 2. 

When and where you can vote

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 (CWPP). If your county does participate in CWPP, you can vote at any polling place in the county. If your county does not participate in CWPP, you can only vote at the polling place assigned to you on Election Day.

On July 14, polling places across Texas will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

RELATED: How do I find my polling place in Texas?

What's on your ballot?

Each party will vote to determine which candidates will move on from the runoffs to the general election in November for the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House of Representatives, the Texas Legislature, the Railroad Commission, judicial seats and other local positions.

All Texans will have the opportunity to vote for candidates in statewide races, but other contests will depend on where you live.

For the U.S. House of Representatives, Texas has 36 different congressional districts. At the state level, Texas is divided into 150 House districts and 31 Senate districts.

All U.S. and Texas House districts will have an election come November, as well as one U.S. Senate office – incumbent John Cornyn’s seat – and several Texas Senate seats.

Since July 14 is a runoff election for a primary, ballots will be different for Democratic and Republican contests. 

Sample ballots

Counties often share sample ballots online ahead of elections to allow voters to see their options. 

For information on your local elections and voting, including what your county is doing in light of COVID-19, visit your county's elections website. 

Don't see your county on this list? Visit the Texas Secretary of State's website for a complete list.

RELATED: Election Day: What to expect voting during a pandemic

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 (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)

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)

Get to know the candidates

Statewide runoff races

The Democratic party has two statewide runoff elections, one for the race against current U.S. Sen. John Cornyn in November, and one for the Democratic ticket in the race for railroad commissioner.

Democratic race for U.S. Senate

Mary "MJ" Hegar will face off against Texas Sen. Royce West for the U.S. Senate race. 

RELATED: KVUE debate between U.S. Senate Democratic candidates gets heated

Who is Hegar?

Hegar is a veteran who served three tours in Afghanistan as a combat search and rescue and medevac pilot for the U.S. Air Force, her campaign website explains. She received a Purple Heart after she was injured by enemy gunfire when her helicopter was destroyed by the Taliban.

RELATED: Meet Mary 'MJ' Hegar, a candidate for US Senate race

Where she stands on health care:

Hegar believes the country needs a "public health insurance option" to make Medicare available to all, especially amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

On her website, she said health care costs are the "number one issue" she has heard about from Texans, and believes it's unacceptable that Texas has one of the highest uninsured rates in the country. She wants to lower prescription drug prices and work to improve the Affordable Care Act.

Where she stands on immigration:

Hegar wants to end child separation, "properly process" asylum claims and offer a citizenship path to undocumented immigrants. 

Where she stands on climate change: 

According to her website, Hegar decided to run for the Senate seat as a mother looking to aggressively expand renewable energy to keep the planet safe for her children. Hegar believes Texas could be a leader in solar and wind power jobs. 

Where she stands on criminal justice:

Hegar wants to pass criminal justice reforms that end racial profiling, stop and frisk, and profit incentives for arrests and ticketing. She supports the police reforms of Campaign Zero, which include the end of for-profit policing. She also wants to end federal contracts with for-profit detention companies.

Click here to learn more about Hegar's campaign. 

Who is West?

West has represented Texas Senate District 23 since he was first elected to the seat in 1992. The district covers much of Dallas County. During his time in the Texas Senate, he served as President Pro Tempore for about eight months in 2006. He has been widely recognized as one of the top lawmakers in the state and represents Texas on the Democratic National Committee.

He is also currently the managing partner of the law firm West & Associates.

RELATED: Meet Royce West, a candidate for US Senate race

Where he stands on health care:

West said on his website he believes healthcare is a basic human right and that the country is facing a healthcare crisis. He wants to expand the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid, but believes healthcare must be a choice people can make for themselves and wants people to be able to keep employer-sponsored insurance. He also wants to see more focus on mental health services and education. 

Where he stands on the economy:

West supports a $15 federal minimum wage and efforts to make banking more readily available to low-income families without high interest rates. He wants to end predatory lending practices.

Where he stands on education:

West has made education one of his top issues during his time as a state senator, including the creation of several higher education institutions and securing more funding to make higher education more affordable. 

He wants to continue prioritizing that work on a national level by offering student loan debt relief programs and investing in community colleges to make tuition free for low-income students. He wants to make sure funding for K-12 education is a priority.

Where he stands on criminal justice:

West said on his website he believes total reform of the judicial system is needed across the country. He said Black communities are disproportionately affected by criminal profiling, excessive force and felony convictions for nonviolent drug crimes. He wants to end mandatory minimum sentences and private for-profit prisons and instead promote rehabilitation and support systems. 

He also wants to see police departments held accountable for misconduct and excessive force, using independent investigators anytime deadly force is used.

Click here to learn more about West's campaign.

Democratic race for Texas Railroad Commissioner

Roberto "Beto" Alonzo and Chrysta Castañeda are competing for the chance to represent the party in the Texas Railroad Commissioner race. Whoever wins will run against Republican Jim Wright in November. 

The Texas Railroad Commission regulates the oil, gas and mining industries in the state, but has not actually regulated railroads in Texas since 2005.

Who is Alonzo?

Alonzo was the first Mexican American from North Texas to be elected to the Texas Legislature, according to his website, and served as a representative for Dallas County in the state House for a number of years before he lost reelection in 2018 to state Rep. Jessica Gonzalez. He is currently a DART board member, among other board positions he holds.

According to his website, Alonzo thinks the venting of natural gas and methane in the Permian Basin needs to be better monitored and the aquifer in the region needs to protected from fracking. He believes the commission can more productively deal with "the competing interests of industry."

For a more detailed look at where he stands on protecting natural resources and regulating pipelines, click here.

Who is Castañeda?

Castañeda is a Dallas-based lawyer and engineer who practices oil and gas litigation. She was a founding partner of her Dallas law firm and graduated from Southern Methodist University's Dedman School of Law.

While she recognizes the oil and gas industry is a vital part of the Texas economy, Castañeda said on her website she feels the commission is not currently enforcing the laws on the books that regulate the industry and protect Texans.

For a detailed look at where she stands on issues in the industry like flaring, water reuse, pipelines or climate change, click here.

Who's on the ballots in Collin County?

Republican Ballot

George Flint and Sarah Fox are competing for the Republican nomination in the race for District Judge in of Judicial District 401. The court hears criminal, family and civil law cases. Whoever wins the runoff will face Democrat Tonya J. Holt in November. 

Democratic Ballot

Lulu Seikaly and Sean McCaffity are both looking to represent the party on the ballot in November for U.S. House District 3. The winner will challenge the current incumbent, Republican Rep. Van Taylor.

Also on the Democratic ballot will be the race for Texas House District 67. That runoff will feature Lorenzo Sanchez and Tom Adair. The winner of the race will face Republican incumbent Rep. Jeff Leach in November.

Click here for a closer look at the candidates in Collin County. 

Who's on the ballots in Dallas County?

Republican Ballot

Dallas County does not have any Republicans competing in July's runoff election. 

Democratic Ballot

Kim Olson and Candace Valenzuela will face off with each other to be the Democratic candidate for U.S. House District 24. Whoever wins will race against Republican Beth Van Duyne in November. The winner will replace incumbent Kenny Marchant.

Also on Dallas County's Democratic ballot will be the race for Texas House District 100. Incumbent Rep. Lorraine Birabil is facing a challenge from Jasmine Crockett for the party's nomination.

Audra Riley and Teresa Hawthorne are also running against each in the race for No. 3 Dallas County Criminal District Judge. 

Click here for a closer look at the candidates in Dallas County. 

Who's on the ballots in Denton County?

Republican Ballot

Elizabeth Beach will face Brian Walker for the Republican nomination to the race for Place 7 Justice of Texas' Second District Court of Appeals. The winner will not face a challenger in the November election.

Also on the Republican ballot are Derbha Jones and Jim Johnson, who are running against each other to be District Judge in the 431st District Court. The winner will face Diana Weitzel in November, who ran unopposed in the Democratic primary in March.

Democratic Ballot

Kim Olson and Candace Valenzuela will face off with each other to be the Democratic candidate for U.S. House District 24. Whoever wins will race against Republican Beth Van Duyne in November. The winner will replace incumbent Kenny Marchant.

Click here for a closer look at the candidates in Denton County. 

Who's on the ballots in Tarrant County

Republican Ballot

Elizabeth Beach will face Brian Walker for the Republican nomination to the race for Place 7 Justice of Texas' Second District Court of Appeals. The winner will not face a challenger in the November election.

Democratic Ballot

Kim Olson and Candace Valenzuela will face off with each other to be the Democratic candidate for U.S. House District 24. Whoever wins will race against Republican Beth Van Duyne in November. The winner will replace incumbent Kenny Marchant.

John Wright and Pedro "Pete" Munoz are also running against each other to represent the Democratic party in the race for County Constable of Precinct 5

Click here for a closer look at the candidates in Tarrant County. 

Correction: This guide originally said Kenny Marchant was running for re-election in the U.S. House District 24 race. He did not run for another term, and Republican Beth Van Duyne won the Republican primary.