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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Prepare for polls

Uncle+Sam+Cover+art
Graphic by Cameron Johnson
Uncle Sam Cover art

First-time voters may not know what to expect on the day they line up at the doors, eager to cast their first vote as an adult, but there are several major things that students should be aware of before voting for the first time. 

The first day for in-person early voting begins Oct. 24 with the last day to apply for mail-in voting ending on Oct. 28. All voters must have a valid Texas ID with them on the day of the election. The ballot will include local candidates from the voters’ county as well as state officials running for office. 

Registration

To check registration status, students can visit the Texas Secretary of State website.

Brazos County Elections Administrator Trudy Hancock said in an email to The Battalion that the most common mistake students make is not being registered in the county they wish to vote in. 

“If they are still registered at home they need to request a ballot by mail from the county of registration,” the email said. 

However, if a student has recently moved to Brazos County and hasn’t yet transferred over their voting registration, they are still eligible to vote in the county. They can only do this during early voting and only at the Brazos County Elections Administration office located at 300 E William J Bryan Parkway, Suite 100, Bryan. 

“This is called a Limited Ballot,” Hancock said in the email. “If registered in Texas and have a local address, you can vote on races that Brazos County has in common with the county of registration. If you vote [on] a Limited Ballot, it moves your registration to Brazos County.” 

Chemistry freshman Samuel Williams said this upcoming election will be his first time voting. Williams said he is excited to finally be able to vote after watching his friends vote in previous elections. 

“I actually had a friend ask me if I was registered to vote … He was like, ‘You can do it through Snapchat,’” Williams said. “It was pretty easy to set up.” 

Voting Dates

  • Early voting: Oct. 24 – Nov. 4

  • Election Day: Nov. 8

Voting Locations

  • Early voting: Brazos County Election Administrator Office, Arena Hall, Galilee Baptist Church, College Station Utilities Meeting & Training Facility and College Station City Hall

  • Election Day: Memorial Student Center, or MSC, College Station City Hall, etc. For more voting locations go to Brazosvote.org

Forms of Valid IDs

Hancock said first-time voters need to have a valid Texas ID. If they do not have a Texas ID, they can use their out-of-state driver’s license, but they will have to sign a Reasonable Impediment Declaration. 

Valid IDs include: 

  • Texas Driver’s 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)

The acceptable form of photo identification may be expired no more than four years before being presented for voter qualification at the polling place.

If a voter cannot present or reasonably obtain a form of acceptable ID, they can fill out a Reasonable Impediment Declaration at the polls and provide supporting documentation. More information can be found at VoteTexas.gov website.

List of open positions 

  • Local
    • Brazos County Judge (2)
    • Brazos County Clerk (1)
    • Brazos County District Clerk (2)
    • Brazos County Treasurer (1)
    • Brazos County Constable – Precinct 1 (1)
    • Brazos County Constable – Precinct 2 (1)
    • Brazos County Constable – Precinct 3 (1)
    • Brazos County Constable – Precinct 4 (1)
  • State
    • Texas Governor (4)
    • Texas Lieutenant Governor (3)
    • Texas Attorney General (3)
    • Texas Agriculture Commissioner (2)
    • Texas Public Accounts Comptroller (3)
    • Texas Land Commissioner (3)
    • Texas State Board of Education District 10 (1)
    • Texas Railroad Commissioner (4)
    • Texas State Senate District 5 (2)
    • Texas House of Representatives District 14 (2)
  • Federal
    • U.S. House of Representatives – Texas 10th Congressional District (2)

Williams said he wants to learn more about the other candidates and positions, but he is most familiar with the two primary candidates for governor: Democratic Gubernatorial candidate Beto O’Rourke and incumbent Republican Gov. Greg Abbott. 

“From what I can tell, Greg Abbott is a pretty typical Republican,” Williams said. “He doesn’t want gun control. He’s pretty well against abortion. Beto [O’Rourke] is kind of the other way.”

Williams said he plans on going back to San Antonio to vote in person for the governor elections where his parents will vote with him to help alleviate some of the unknown factors. 

Voters can check what their county ballot will look like by going to Ballotready.org.

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