Primary elections: How to register, what to know about mail-in ballots in Tarrant County

·4 min read

Tarrant County voters soon will pick who they’d like to see on the November ballot for governor, county judge, district attorney and a number of other federal, state and local offices.

Texas’ Republican and Democratic primary elections are on March 1 and the deadline to register to vote and other key dates are even sooner.

As campaigning ramps up, here’s what you need to know about the nearing elections.

Key Dates

Here are some important election dates to remember.

  • Jan. 31: Last day to register to vote

  • Feb. 14: First day of in-person early voting

  • Feb. 18: Last day to apply for a mail-in ballot (The application must be received by this day, not postmarked.)

  • Feb. 25: Last day of in-person early voting

  • March 1: Election Day

Who is eligible to vote?

Texans are eligible to vote in the Republican and Democratic primaries if they are:

  • A U.S. citizen

  • A resident of the county where their registration application was submitted

  • 18 years old or older on election day

  • Not convicted of a felony (unless the sentence, including probation and parole, is complete)

  • Not declared mentally incapacitated by a court

Voter registration status can be checked on the Texas Secretary of State website. Voter registration can also be checked online through the Tarrant County Elections department.

How to register to vote

Those wishing to register to vote must fill out a voter registration application and turn it in to their county election office — Tarrant County Elections, 2700 Premier Street, Fort Worth, 76111 for those living in Tarrant County. The form, which is available on the county’s election website as well as on the Secretary of State website, can be mailed or returned in person.

Applications can also be picked up the county election office, Tarrant County subcourthouses, post offices, city halls, libraries and public assistance offices in the county, according to the election department’s website.

Texas generally does not have online voter registration, however people can register to vote when renewing, replacing or updating contact info for their driver license or state ID card.

Texas doesn’t require voters to register with a particular political party, however voters can only cast ballots in either the Republican or Democratic primary, not both.

How to request a mail-in ballot

Texans can vote by mail if they’re:

  • 65 or older

  • Disabled or sick

  • Expected to give birth within three weeks before or after Election Day

  • Expect to be gone from the county during early voting and on Election Day

  • Are in jail but still eligible to vote or involuntary committed

Those wanting to vote by mail must ensure their application is received by Feb. 18. Applications can be found on the Tarrant County election website. They are pre-addressed to: Early Voting Clerk, Tarrant County Elections Administration, PO Box 961011, Fort Worth TX, 76161-0011.

Applications can be mailed, returned in person, emailed or faxed, however those opting to email or fax must also send a hard copy by mail that’s received within four days of the emailed or faxed version, according to the county election office. The proper email address is votebymail@tarrantcounty.com and the fax number is 817-850-2344.

Additional information about voting by mail and getting an application is available on the Secretary of State website.

The Tarrant County Election office also has an instructive video online showing voters how to check their application status and, eventually, whether their ballot was received.

Who’s on the ballot?

There are a number of seats with primary contests, including the bid for Texas governor, Texas attorney general and county judge and district attorney. There are also several of congressional, state legislative and county commissioner races on the ballot. The winners in March will advance to the Nov. 8 general election. (Though runoffs are always a possibility if a single candidate doesn’t get more than 50% of the votes.)

Voters wanting to see their exact ballot can look up their sample ballot on the county’s election website. According to the site, sample ballots should be available by Jan. 24.

Contact information

Tarrant County Elections Department

Texas Secretary of State Office