This article is sponsored by the Texas Legends.
In case you missed it, Election Day is November 3rd, 2020. On that Tuesday, federal, state, and local elections will take place. It’s a big day, so to prepare you to be a part of it either in person or by mail, let’s break it down:
Step 1 – Register
Are you registered to vote? TODAY, September 22 is National Voter Registration Day, a civic holiday celebrating our democracy since 2012. In support of this important day, the Texas Legends are hosting a voter registration event at Comerica Center in Frisco.
Community members can stop by the northeast corner of the arena between 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm or 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm to get registered and either submit their registration to a Volunteer Deputy Registrar or take a mail-in card.
Wondering if you’re already registered? It can take as little as 30 seconds to check your status on VoteTexas.gov. You’re eligible to register to vote if:
- You’re a United States citizen;
- You’re a resident of the county in which you submit the application;
- You’re at least 17 years and 10 months old and will be 18 years of age on
- You’re not a convicted felon (see details); and
- You have not been declared by a court exercising probate jurisdiction to be either totally mentally incapacitated or partially mentally incapacitated without the right to vote.
If you’re a U.S. citizen overseas or a uniformed service member overseas, you can register to vote, request your absentee ballot, and find additional voting information from the Overseas Vote Foundation.
If you can’t make it to today’s Texas Legends event, you can obtain a voter registration application from your voter registrar’s office. You can also fill out a voter registration application online or request a postage-paid application be mailed to you.
Note: If you fill out a voter registration application online using the above link, you must print the completed application and send it to your county voter registrar’s office. Your voter registration becomes effective 30 days after it’s submitted (and accepted) by the county voter registrar. The county office will then put your name on the voter registration list, generate your voter certificate, and mail it to you. The last day to register to vote is October 5th.
Step 2 – Prepare
To be ready to cast your vote, be prepared with knowledge about who is on the ballot and what to bring to the polls. You can research what your ballot will look like so that you can make an informed vote for each race.
Local General Election Info
In Frisco, the ballot will include Mayor (Jeff Cheney), City Council Place 5 (Rob Cox, Hava Johnston, Ram Majji, Josh Meek, Ruan Meintjes, Laura Rummel, and Dan Stricklin), and City Council Place 6 (Brian Livingston, Sadaf Haq, and Sai Krishna).
(The local election was originally scheduled to take place in May, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the election was delayed until the general election date.)
United States General Election Info
The Presidential election ballot will contain Republican Party candidate Donald J. Trump (incumbent, President) / Mike Pence (Vice President) and Democratic Party candidate Joe Biden (for President) / Kamala Harris (Vice President).
What to Bring to the Polls
Photo ID is required to vote in Texas. Below is a list of the acceptable forms of photo ID. Be sure to check the expiration date; the photo ID must be current or expired no more than four years for voters aged 18-69.
Voters aged 70 or older may present one of the seven (7) acceptable forms of photo ID that is expired for any length of time that is otherwise valid.
- 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)
Step 3 – Vote
You can vote in person or vote by mail. Like with many age-old American disciplines, it can get a little complicated, so let’s break down some important dates and notes:
- Last Day to Register to Vote — Monday, October 5, 2020
- Early Voting by Personal Appearance — Tuesday, October 13 – Oct 30, 2020
- Last Day to Apply for Ballot by Mail (Received, not Postmarked) — Friday, October 23, 2020
- Last day to Receive Ballot by Mail — Tuesday, November 3, 2020 (Election Day) at 7:00 p.m. if carrier envelope is not postmarked, OR Wednesday, November 4, 2020 at 5:00 p.m. if carrier envelope is postmarked by 7:00 p.m. at the location of the election on Election Day.
How do I vote in-person?
Early voting in person begins on October 13 and ends on October 30, 2020. You may vote at any early voting location in your county of registration. You’ll be able to find early voting locations and hours by searching the site Am I Registered? or directly at your County’s election site, which will be populated with voting sites a few days before early voting begins. Local county sites include: Dallas County, Collin County, and Denton County.
You may see some new voting sites, depending on your county, such as the American Airlines Center in Dallas or Comerica Center in Frisco. The Texas Legends have partnered with the Dallas Mavericks (NBA), the Dallas Wings (WNBA), and Mavs Gaming (NBA 2K) to create the Count It Coalition to provide important voter registration assistance and information, as well as polling locations in DFW.
The hours of voting on election day, November 3rd, are 7:00 am to 7:00 pm.
TheTexas Legends have placed an emphasis on civic engagement, committing to help advocate for voter registration, education, and access for all. As part of the team’s initiatives, Legends’ front office members will be running the polling location at Comerica Center on election day.
Our staff wanted to be as hands-on as possible. They have the day off as part of our initial commitment to expand voting opportunities, and they now have the option to come volunteer and work to further the opportunities for others.
— Legends President and General Manager Malcolm Farmer.
How about some polling tips?
- Keep your place in line. The lines may be long, but as long as you’re in line when the polls close, you’ll be allowed to cast your ballot. If you leave the line, you may not be able to vote.
- Do everything you can to vote a regular ballot. Cast a provisional ballot only if you have no other option (i.e. do not have access to any of the 7 forms of identification). For the provisional ballot to be counted you must visit the voter registrar’s office within six (6) calendar days of the date of the election to prove acceptable I.D.
- If the poll worker can’t find you on the registered voter roll, make sure the poll worker is spelling your name correctly and is looking in every place that you could be listed. Ask a poll worker if there is a separate “inactive” or “suspense” list of voters that you may be on. Many states maintain similar lists of voters who have not recently voted. If you’re on this list, you can still cast a regular ballot.
- If you recently moved, you need to update your registrar by October 5th. If you haven’t updated your voter registration yet, you could find yourself on the voter roll of your old polling place. If so, check with a poll worker to see if you can update your registration and vote a regular ballot where you are. Otherwise, you may need to vote at your old polling location or at a central polling place.
You have the right to vote. If anyone tries to stop you or if you experience intimidation, harassment, false information about voting requirements, or people impersonating poll workers or election officials, call the Election Protection Hotline at 1-866-687-8683
How do I vote by mail?
Ballot by Mail voting is conducted before Election Day. The state of Texas will mail a ballot to voters if certain conditions are met. You may vote by mail ballot in Texas if:
- you are 65 years or older;
- you are sick or disabled;
- you will be out of the county on Election Day and during the period for early voting by personal appearance; or
- you are confined in jail
An Application for Ballot by Mail (ABBM) must be received by the early voting clerk, October 23, 2020. The Early Voting Clerk must receive your marked ballot by 7 pm on Election Day.
Ready, Check, Vote.
However you decide to vote, whether by mail or in-person, early or on November 3rd, exercise your right and let your voice be heard. Here are additional election resources you may find helpful:
Denton County: votedenton.com
Collin County: collincountytx.gov
Sign up for this Election Reminder service.
Even future voters can get in on the learning process of voting. Find puzzles, a state flag challenge, election bingo, and more on the Project V.O.T.E site for kids.