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Am I eligible to vote in a runoff?

Teach the Vote
Teach the Vote

Date Posted: 4/07/2016 | Author: Monty Exter

ThinkstockPhotos-485333274_VoteAre you eligible to vote in one of the upcoming primary election runoffs? The answer is actually quite simple. If you have not affiliated with an opposing party during the current election cycle, then YES, you can vote in the runoff. Let's use Senate District (SD) 1 as an example to look at whether five hypothetical voters (Kermit, Fozzie, Gonzo, Rowlf, and Piggy) could vote in the upcoming May 24 Republican primary runoff for that district.

  • Kermit: Voted in the SD 1 Republican primary election on March 1, thereby affiliating himself with the Republican party. Kermit voted for David Simpson (R), who is now one of the two candidates in the May 24 runoff for SD 1. Kermit IS ELIGIBLE to vote in the May 24th Republican runoff.
  • Fozzie: Voted early for Red Brown (R) in the Republican primary earlier this year. Brown is not one of the candidates who made it to the SD 1 runoff slated for May 24. However, Fozzie affiliated with Republican party by voting in that party's primary election. Therefore, Fozzie IS ELIGIBLE to vote in the May 24 Republican primary runoff.
  • Gonzo: Voted for Bernie Sanders for President in the Democratic primary on March 1. Gonzo affiliated with an opposing party by voting in the Democratic primary. Therefore, Gonzo IS NOT ELIGIBLE to vote in the May 24th Republican primary runoff. Note: Gonzo would be eligible to vote in a Democratic runoff if one existed for SD 1, but all of the candidates in this particular race are Republicans, so Gonzo cannot vote in this race in May.
  • Rowlf: Did not vote at all during the primaries. As a non-voter (and slacker!), Rowlf did not affiliate with any party. Because Rowlf did not affiliate with an opposing party, Rowlf IS ELIGIBLE to vote in the May 24 Republican primary runoff. Note: Rowlf would be eligible under this hypothetical scenario to vote in either a Republican or Democratic runoff, but only the Republican party has fielded candidates in this actual race.
  • Piggy: Did not vote in either the Democratic or Republican primary election, but she did attend her local Libertarian Party's precinct convention on March 1. By attending the precinct convention of a third party, and ostensibly taking an oath of affiliation and/or getting her voter registration card stamped, Piggy has affiliated with an opposing party. Therefore, Piggy IS NOT ELIGIBLE to vote in the May 24 Republican primary runoff.
We hope these hypothetical scenarios help you understand who can vote in a primary runoff and how these rules apply to your circumstances. Now that you know whether or not you are eligible to vote in the May 24 runoff election, let's learn more. Specifically, where are the runoffs this year, how do you find out whether you live in one of those districts, and where can you find out more about the candidates? At the end of the post is a complete list of Texas House, Senate, and State Board of Education (SBOE) runoffs. You can use Teach the Vote to see what district you are in and learn more about the candidates. TTVTo find your district, click on 2016 Races in the Teach the Vote navigation bar at the top of the page. On the 2016 Races page you can identify your districts and candidates by typing your address in the box under search for candidates where it says using your home address. Please remember that you may work in a different district where you live, especially in urban/suburban areas. Your voting district is tied to your home address. Once you type in your address and hit submit, scroll to the bottom of the page. There you will see three tabs: Texas State Board of Education, Texas Senate, and Texas House. By clicking on any of these three tabs, you can see what your district number is for that particular chamber/body and which candidates are running in that district. To learn more about the candidates' stances on public education, please click on one candidate's name and view that candidate's profile page. You can switch between candidates in a single district from any candidates profile page or return to the 2016 Races page and click on another candidate's name from there. Here are all the SBOE, Senate, and House districts with runoff elections occurring during the upcoming May 24th election. Happy voting! SBOE 6: Jasmine Jenkins (D) vs. R. Dakota Carter (D) SBOE 9: Keven Ellis (R) vs. Mary Lou Bruner (R) SD 1: David Simpson (R) vs. Bryan Hughes (R) SD 24: Susan King (R) vs. Dawn Buckingham (R) HD 5: Jay Misenheimer (R) vs. Cole Hefner (R) HD 18: Ernest Bailes (R) vs. Keith Strahan (R) HD 27: Ron Reynolds (D) vs. Angelique Bartholomew (D) HD 33: John Keating (R) vs. Justin Holland (R) HD 54: Scott Cosper (R) vs. Austin Ruiz (R) HD 64: Lynn Stucky (R) vs. Read King (R) HD 73: Doug Miller (R) vs. Kyle Biedermann (R) HD 120: Barbara Gervin-Hawkins (D) vs. Mario Salas (D) HD 128: Wayne Smith (R) vs. Briscoe Cain (R) HD 139: Kimberly Willis (D) vs. Jarvis Johnson (D)   REMINDER: If you're not yet registered to vote and would like to vote in the May 24 runoff elections, the deadline to register is April 25. Visit VoteTexas.gov to find out how to register.


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