AUSTIN — The stakes are high for Democrats and Republicans as Texans head to the polls this November for the midterm elections.
Democrats hope opposition to President Donald Trump will fuel their oft-quoted “blue wave,” while Republicans are eager to defend their advantage in Congress and in the state Legislature by reducing that wave to a trickle.
Midterm elections are often perilous for presidents because the public’s patience for campaign promises runs out and voters turn to the opposition party for answers.
This year, Democrats are trying to stoke those flames, citing Trump’s temperament and erratic decisions as reasons voters should turn to them.
In Texas, Democrats are promoting U.S. Rep. Beto O’ Rourke of El Paso as a more centrist option to stalwart conservative incumbent Ted Cruz in the U.S. Senate. O’ Rourke has drawn impressive crowds across the state.
But as Election Day approaches, Cruz has ramped up his political and fundraising machine to undercut O’ Rourke and portray him as a far-left liberal whose views are out of touch with a deeply Republican state.
When can I vote?
Early voting starts Oct. 22 and ends Nov. 2. Polls open at 7 a.m. and close at 7 p.m.
And if you’re running to the polls after work, don’t worry. If you’re in line by 7 p.m., you are legally entitled to cast your vote. Election Day is Nov. 6.
What’s on the ballot?
Texans will choose several statewide officials, including governor, state representatives and senators and federal representatives to the U.S. House and U.S. Senate.
Statewide: The marquee race will be between Cruz and O’ Rourke.
But Gov. Greg Abbott is also running for re-election against former Dallas County sheriff Lupe Valdez. Lt. Gov. Dan Pat rick and Attorney General Ken Paxton face long-shot challenges from Democratic opponents Mike Collier and Just in Nelson, respectively, as do Republican incumbents in the comptroller, land commissioner and agriculture commissioner races.
6th Congressional District: Republican Ron Wright, the former Tarrant County tax assessor/ collector, and Democrat Jana Lynne Sanchez will try to replace a third retiring representative, Joe Barton.
30th Congressional District: Democrat Eddie Bernice Johnson, who has represented the Dallas district since 1992, has no Republican challenger.
Dallas County: Residents will vote for district attorney, sheriff, Precinct 2 commissioner, county judge and several judicial races.
Republican District Attorney Faith Johnson, who was appointed by Abbott in 2016, will try to keep her seat against along time state district judge, Democrat John Creuzot.
Where do I vote?
If you are a registered voter, your precinct should be on your voter registration card.
You can also look up your precinct at Vote Texas.gov.
You can find early voting locations and other information, including sample ballots, on your county registrar’s elections website.
What ID do I need?
One of seven approved forms of identification:
• Texas driver’s 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.
• U.S. military identification card containing the person’s photograph
• U.S. citizenship certificate containing the person’s photograph.
• U.S. passport (book or card) If you don’t have one of these, you may vote if you sign a declaration at the polls that explains why you are “reasonably unable to obtain” one of the forms and if you bring one of these pieces of supporting documentation:
• Copy or original of a government document that shows the voter’s name and address, including the voter’s voter registration certificate.
• Copy of or original current utility bill.
• Copy of or original bank statement.
• Copy of or original government check.
• Copy of or original paycheck.
• Copy of or original of a certified domestic (from a U.S. state or territory) birth certificate or a document confirming birth admissible in a court of law that establishes the voter’s identity (which may include a foreign birth document).
For more information, visit Vote Texas.gov or call 1-800-252-VOTE.