Early voting for the May primary runoffs begins Monday

From the inbox:

Harris County Clerk Teneshia Hudspeth announces that early voting for the May 28 Primary Runoff Elections starts on Monday, May 20. Be aware that these elections offer only five days of early voting. Voters can cast their ballots at any 50 early voting locations across Harris County from May 20 to May 24, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

“Primary elections are how the Republican and Democratic parties determine who their respective nominees will be for the November general election,” explained Clerk Hudspeth, the county’s chief election official. “The May 28 Primary Runoff Elections are held to determine the winner for the contests that no candidate received more than 50 percent of votes during the March 5 primaries.”

Texas has open primaries, meaning voters do not have to register or affiliate with a political party to vote. Although voters may choose to cast a ballot in either the Republican or Democratic primary, voters must vote in the same party’s elections during the same primary election cycle (March 5 primaries and May 28 runoff elections). If a voter did not cast a ballot in either party’s primary election during the March 5 Joint Primary Elections, they may choose which party’s runoff election to participate in on May 28.

“The important thing for voters to remember is that they must vote in the same party’s runoff election that they voted in during the March 5 primaries,” said Clerk Hudspeth. “If a voter cast their ballot in the Republican primary on March 5, then they can only participate in the Republican runoff election. The same is true for Democratic primary voters.”

The address where a voter is registered and which party’s primary they chose to vote in determines what contests will be on the ballot. Voters can view and print their personalized sample ballot to take to the polls on the Harris Votes website.

Not all Republican voters in Harris County will have a contest on their May 28 Republican Primary Runoff election ballot. Only Republican voters residing in Congressional District 7 or Congressional District 29 can vote in the Republican Primary Runoff election.

All Democratic voters in Harris County have at least three countywide contests on their ballot, including the Justice, 14th County Court of Appeals District, Place 3, 486th Judicial District Judge, and County Tax Assessor-Collector. Voters registered within the applicable districts may also vote in contests for State Senator District 15, State Representative District 139, State Representative District 146, and Constable 5.

Additional election information is available at www.HarrisVotes.com. For news and updates on social media, follow @HarrisVotes.

That’s the normal process, for normal times. This has not been a normal week. Later in the day on Friday we got this.

Yesterday’s severe weather impacted Harris County election facilities.

Like many others across the county, the Election Technology Center (ETC) sustained roof damage and lost power and network connectivity. Significant components of elections are staged at ETC, where the county’s voting equipment is housed. Another county building where election worker training took place was affected and deemed uninhabitable, and the availability of vote centers is also uncertain. So, as the first day of early voting approaches, we are working through these challenges.

I have been in constant communication with the Texas Secretary of State, members of the Commissioners Court, the County Attorney, and the Chairs of both major political parties. We will continue to review the status of facilities, the early voting and Election Day infrastructure, and, most importantly, our ability to conduct the May 28 primary runoff elections.

Updates will be provided once we determine how to proceed. The safety of our voters, poll workers, and election staff remains my top priority.

I’ll keep an eye on this. For now, assume that the vote centers list is up to date and choose accordingly. As far as the races go, see my earlier post for details. The main things to remember are there are only five days of early voting – you get out and do the thing next week, before Friday at 7 PM, or you miss out – and Runoff Day is Tuesday, May 28, which is the day after Memorial Day. Don’t miss out. And then, after drawing a breath, it will be almost time for early voting to start for the two HCAD runoffs. Isn’t life grand? Get out there and vote.

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