American Elections, Simplified

I know voting and elections are such sexy topics, which is why I want to bring it up again today!

Today’s post won’t be a long guide, but instead I want to share this must-watch, extremely informative, easy-to-follow video by Hasan Minhaj about American Elections.

We’re Doing Elections Wrong | Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj | Netflix

Let me start off by saying that I am SO glad that this message is on Youtube and is freely accessible to everyone in the US. I truly believe that to make a change in your country’s system, you have to learn the history of how it became that way to avoid making the same mistakes over and over.

Secondly, my favorite thing about this video (and really all his other topics) is that he is teaching us about the American two-party election system and why plurality voting (vs majority voting) is the cause of so many issues we have. He touches on “negative partisanship” which simply means that our voting decision tends to swing in the opposite direction of who we HATE, rather than voting for someone who we actually like. For example, Republicans voted for Trump not necessarily because they liked him, but because they hate Democrats more.

So how do we fix this?! Hasan mentions in the video that even if we fix Electoral College, gerrymandering, and campaign finance, it won’t fix the fundamental issue. Instead he discusses a better long-term solution called “ranked-choice voting”. This is where you rank the candidates in order of your preference (essentially what majority-rules voting is), and that this is something we can do RIGHT NOW because all we need is a local law to implement it.

Couple of fun facts from Hasan’s video:
1.
Trump never got a majority of voters. Only 13.5 million Americans voted for him. That’s only 5.5% of all eligible voters!!!
2. There is nothing in our Constitution says that we have to have two parties… but the reason we have this is because the Founding Fathers just copied what the British were doing even though they didn’t want the U.S. to only have two parties.
3. Maine is the first state to implement ranked-choice voting.

Since Texas Primary Runoff Election is July 14th, this is probably going to be my last post about voting until it gets closer to the General November Elections. I will do similar posts about the positions & candidates that are national, state, and local for Harris County/Houston.

If you live in Texas, I hope you got a chance to vote with ease during Early Voting. If not, the last day to vote in the Primaries are July 14th. If you live in another state, I hope you got to vote during your state’s Primaries.

I’ve been enjoying educating myself (and hopefully others) and hope to keep providing relevant, simple-but-accurate information to all.

xo,
Donna

P.S. For those who care to know, I will be voting for Biden in November. I don’t love Biden, but I believe that voting Blue is certainly a step to the right direction. I really miss Bernie.

P.P.S. I mentioned to my friend the other day that I finally understand why people ‘unfollow’ their ex after a breakup and you still have feelings for them – it’s very painful to keep hearing about them and wishing things worked out. This is how I feel about Bernie losing the Democratic vote. He was the one who got away.

Edit 7.15.2020

Hello! Just doing a mini-edit! Below is the link to view the results for the Texas Primary Runoff Election. I believe this is an ongoing live page, so it will keep updating until all results have been counted.

What’s & Who’s | Texas Primary Runoff Election (Part III)

It is 1:48 AM CST and I am finally ready to publish this post. We have a lot of ground to cover, so grab a bunch of snacks and a mug of coffee before diving in. Apologies in advance for any typos and grammatical or language errors. My English typically suffers as the night goes on. Kaykay typically proofs for me but he’s knocked out and currently snoring like a bear.

Before you read this post, make sure you check out Part I & Part II first.

Today I want to give you information about all the other races/ballots/people in the Texas Primary Runoff Election, in addition to the Senate & Representative candidates I mentioned in my last post. Please note that these candidates are within Harris County, so some of these people may not be in your county’s ballot. If you do not live in Harris County, click here to find out who’s in your county’s ballot. Select Year > Select either July 14th REPUBLICAN or DEMOCRATIC Primary Runoff on the Election drop down > Choose your county > Candidates will automatically populate on the page.

I’ll briefly describe the role of each race/position. I won’t go into detail about the candidates, but I’ll simply list their website, social media accounts, and any other relevant links so that you can do your own research about each role/person.

Side note: Click here to find out who’s currently representing you [where you live]!

OK – Let’s get started.

DEMOCRATIC PARTY

Race: Railroad Commissioner
One of three seats on the railroad commission is up for re-election. Funny enough, this commission does NOT regulate railroads but instead oversees the oil and gas industry, gas utilities, pipeline safety, and safety in the liquefied petroleum gas industry, and surface coal and uranium mining.
Railroad Commissioner Candidates:
– Roberto R. “Beto” Alonzo: Website
– Chrysta Castañeda: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
The winner between these two candidates will be going up against Incumbent Ryan Sitton (R) in November.

Race: State Board of Education, District 6
This board is composed of 15 elected members, each representing one of the state’s 15 education districts. Board members set policies and standards for Texas public schools including setting curriculum standards, reviewing and adopting instructional materials, establishing graduation requirements, overseeing the Texas Permanent School Fund and more.
State Board of Education, District 6 Candidates:
– Michelle Palmer: Website | Facebook | Twitter
– Kimberly McLeod: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
The winner between these two candidates will be going up against Incumbent Donna Bahorich in November. *edit 7.5.2020: Donna Bahorich is not running for reelection. The winner between Palmer and McLeod will go against Will Hickman (Republican) and Whitney Bilyeu (Libertarian).

Race: State Representative for Districts 138, 142, and 148
The Texas House of Representatives is composed of 150 members, elected every two years. State representatives introduce and vote on laws that represents the interest of the people who live in their voting district. They create new laws, modify or update old laws, and more.
Candidates for District 138:
– Akilah Bacy: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
– Jennifer Rene Pool: Facebook
– The winner between these two candidates will be going up against Lacey Hull (R) in November: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
Candidates for District 142:
Incumbent Harold V. Dutton Jr: Website | Facebook
– Jerry Davis: Website | Facebook
– One of these two candidates will be going up against Jason Rowe (R) in November: Website | Facebook | Twitter
Candidates for District 148:
Incumbent Anna Eastman: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
– Penny Morales Shaw: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
– The winner between these two candidates will be going up against Luis LaRotta (R) in November: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Race: Justice, 14th Court of Appeals, Place 7
The Texas Court of Appeals are part of the Texas judicial system. Simply put, the state of Texas is divided into 14 regions, and each court has jurisdiction over cases in its’ area. The 14th Court of Appeals is the “group” that is over the Houston region, and is made up of 9 Justices. Justices are responsible for hearing and reviewing appeals from legal cases that have already been heard in trial-level or other lower courts.
Justice, 14th Court of Appeals, Place 7 Candidates:
– Tamika “Tami” Craft: Website | Facebook | Instagram
– Cheri Thomas: Website | Facebook
– The winner between these two candidates will be going up against incumbent Ken Wise (R) in November: Website | Facebook | Twitter

Race: District Judges for 164th and 399th Judicial Districts
Texas District Courts are the trial courts of general jurisdictions in Texas. As of September 2019, there were 450 district courts in Texas (one judge per court)! Most district courts consider both criminal and civil cases but in counties with many courts, each may specialize in civil, criminal, juvenile, or family law matters. Harris County has 60 district courts! District courses have original jurisdiction in felony criminal cases, divorce cases, cases involving title to land, election contest cases, civil matters, etc.
Candidate for 164th Judicial District:
– Cheryl Elliott Thornton: Website
Incumbent Alexandra Smoots-Thomas: Article
– The winner between these two candidates will be going up against Michael Landrum (R) in November: Facebook
Candidate for 339th Judicial District:
– Te’iva Bell: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
– Candance White: Website | Facebook
– The winner between these two candidates will be going up against incumbent Jesse McClure (R) in November: Facebook

Race: County Commissioner, Precinct 3:
The county commissioner is responsible for roads and bridges within their precinct and makes policy-making budget decisions. Additionally, the commissioners court is made up of the county judge and four commissioners. The court is responsible for adopting the county’s budget and tax rate, provides and maintains all county buildings and facilities, and more.
County Commissioner, Precinct 3 Candidates:
– Michael Moore: Website| Facebook | Twitter
– Diana Martinez-Alexander: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
– The winner between these two will be going up against incumbent Tom Ramsey (R) in November: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Race: County Constable for Precincts 2, 3, and 5
A county constable serves as a licensed peace officer and performs various law enforcement functions, including issuing traffic citations, serving warrants and civil papers such as temporary restraining orders, and serves as a bailiff for Justice of the Peace Court.
Candidates for County Constable Precinct 2:
Incumbent Christopher Diaz: Website | Facebook
– Jerry Garcia: Website | Facebook
– The winner between these two will be going up against Daniel Vela (R) in November
Candidates for County Constable Precinct 3:
Incumbent Sherman Eagleton: Information
– Ken Jones: Facebook
– The winner between these two will be going up against Andre Hines (R) in November: Website | Facebook
Candidates for County Constable Precinct 5:
– Randy Newman: Website
– Mark Alan Harrison: Website | Facebook | Instagram
– The winner between these two will be going up against incumbent Ted Heap (R) in November: Information | Facebook

REPUBLICAN PARTY

Race: Court of Appeals, Place 5
The Texas Court of Appeals are part of the Texas judicial system. Simply put, the state of Texas is divided into 14 regions, and each court has jurisdiction over cases in its’ area. The 14th Court of Appeals is the “group” that is over the Houston region, and is made up of 9 Justices. Justices are responsible for hearing and reviewing appeals from legal cases that have already been heard in trial-level or other lower courts.
Candidates for Court of Appeals, Place 5:
– Terry Adams: Website | Facebook
– James Lombardino: Facebook
– The winner between these two will be going up against Amparo Guerra (D) in November: Website | Facebook

Race: Sheriff
The duties of a Texas sheriff generally include keeping the county jail, providing bailiffs for the county and district courts within his county and serving process issued by said courts, and providing general law enforcement services to residents.
Candidates for Sheriff:
– Paul Day: Website | Facebook
– Joe Danna: Website | Facebook | Twitter
– The winner between these two will be going up against incumbent Ed Gonzalez (D) in November: Website | Facebook | Twitter

Race: Justice of the Peace, Precinct 5, Place 1
The Justice of the Peace oversees the justice court in cases involving misdemeanors, small civil dispites, landlord/tenant disputes, and more! They also conduct inquests and may perform marriage ceremonies.
Candidates for Justice of the Peace, Precinct 5, Place 1:
Incumbent Russ Ridgway: Website
– Mike Wolfe: Information
– The winner between these two will be going up against Israel Garcia (D) in November: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

….and that’s a wrap! Now it’s your turn to do some reading. Go research all the people [in your party]! Put your social media stalking skills to work and do some digging and find out what they’re really about. Google their names – read the articles that they’ve featured in, read their past interviews, etc. Research the incumbents – go find out what laws and bills and actions they’ve made in the past that have impacted your community positively or negatively.

If you live in Harris County, early voting is coming up from June 29th – July 2nd and July 5th – July 10th! I know it may seem scary right now since Covid cases are significantly rising, but I hope that doesn’t stop you from voting [very safely]. If you do vote, please wear a mask and stay 6 ft. away from others. If you are [feeling] sick, please do not leave your house! I’ll be going next week to an early voting polling location – perhaps I’ll do a quick update on my experience (good or bad).

Until next time!

P.S. I promise I’ll start posting food-related stuff again!

Source, Source, Source

What’s & Who’s – U.S. Senate & U.S. Representative | Texas Primary Runoff Election (Part II)

Alright. It took me longer than I thought to research this information. But as promised, this post is about the positions & candidates in the Texas Primary Runoff Election for Harris County on July 14, 2020 – particularly, the U.S. Senate and U.S. Representative.

I tried to be as unbiased as possible – most of the information here were pulled from each candidate’s website and/or a non-partisan source. I am here to inform you, not necessarily persuade you on who to vote for. Keep in mind that there’s no such thing as a perfect candidate. It’s also okay to disagree with some views of your top candidate(s) – just like how you and your best friend don’t agree on everything. I want to encourage you to do your own research on these candidates and vote for whoever is the best choice for your own beliefs and priorities.

Remember, if you voted in the March 3, 2020 Primary, you may only vote in the Runoff Election of the same party. If you did not vote in the March 3, 2020 Primary, you may vote in the runoff of the party of your choice.

We often hear about Congress on the news – “Congress blocked X bill!” or “Approval rating of Congress sucks!” – but what is Congress, exactly?

The U.S. Congress is made up of two parts – the Senate and House of Representatives. That means there are two types of Congressmen, Senators and Representatives. A new law (bill) could be authored by either, but in order for a law (bill) to pass, it has to be passed by both the Senate and House. I’ll go into detail about each role below.

U.S. SENATE

There are 100 Senators in the U.S. (two from each state). Senators are part of the legislative branch of the government and are responsible for writing and voting on new laws (bills). They are also responsible for approving or rejecting some actions taken by the president including treaties, job appointments, cabinet officers, supreme court justices, and ambassadors.

We (the citizens) are constituents of the Senator. They should be taking phone calls, e-mails, and letters from citizens they represent to inform their decisions. They are in Congress to represent OUR views when writing and voting on new laws. Their main responsibility is to represent US and OUR VIEWS.

Senators are up for reelection every 6 years. The current Senators in Texas are Ted Cruz (who won reelection in 2018) and John Cornyn, whose seat is up for reelection in November 2020.

John Cornyn has been a U.S. Senator for Texas since 2002, representing the Republican Party. Some of his key votes1 are:

  • Voted to prohibit abortion after 20 weeks except in cases of rape, incest or to protect the life of the mother in the 114th Congress.
  • Voted to defund Planned Parenthood Federation of America (S.1881 and H.R.3762) in the 114th Congress.
  • Supported an amendment to ensure that federal funds aren’t used to purchase health care plans on the Obamacare exchanges that cover abortions.
  • Voted to reauthorize the Child Care and Development Block Grant program in the 113th Congress.  

To find out more about his political views, click here.

The two Democratic candidates who are running for U.S. Senator for Texas are Mary “MJ” Hegar and Royce West. Whoever wins in the Texas Primary Runoff Election on July 14th (must receive more than 50% of votes) will be the one to face against John Cornyn in November Elections. If you’re voting in the Democratic Party, you will chose between these two candidates for U.S. Senate. If you’re voting in the Republican Party, you will not get a chance to vote for these candidates.

Mary “MJ” Hegar is a combat veteran, working mom, and a Texan. She believes in creating a public option to make Medicare available for all those who want it and is opposed to those who want to privatize, dismantle, or undercut Medicare. She supports Roe vs. Wade and believes politicians should not be able to legislate a woman’s most intimate decisions. At the same time, she believes in providing support for women and increasing access to sex education, affordable OTC contraception, and cost-effective childcare. Regarding current events, Mary supports police reform solutions detailed in Campaign Zero, including ending for-profit policing practices. To learn more about Mary Hegar and her views on issues, click here. (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram)

Royce West is currently a member of the Texas State Senate (not U.S. Senate), representing District 23 (Dallas County). One of his top priorities in investing in K-12 education. For over 30 years, his position on fun reform has been clear – in the 1990’s, he wrote laws on both universal background checks and an assault weapons ban. Royce is also a proponent of $15 federal minimum wage and has fought for legislation to raise the minimum wage in Texas. To learn more about Royce West and his views on issues, click here. (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram)

*edit 6.29.2020: These Democratic candidates are statewide, not only for Harris County.

U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

The number of U.S. House of Representatives in each state is determined by its population – the more people that live in the state, the more Representatives there are. The total number of U.S. House of Representatives is 435 (Texas has 36).

House of Representatives is sometimes called “the People’s House” – that is because the U.S. Constitution sets few restrictions on who can run for a U.S. Representative! They can be as young as 25, can be rich or poor, belong to any religion, and while most members are born in the U.S., more than 300 members have been immigrants.

U.S. Representatives hold hearings, develop policies, and vote on federal laws. They investigate suspected wrongdoing by people in office and can bring charges against them. U.S. Representatives serve on committees – agriculture, homeland security, budget, foreign affairs, and many more. Representatives must serve in 2 committees, in which they become subject matter experts. The committees closely examine laws (bills) before they get voted on by the rest of Congress to become federal law. One of the most important things they are in charge of is the ability to tax and spend public money for the national government. Like a U.S. Senator, they are also responsible for listening to their citizens (YOU AND ME) to represent their views.

U.S. Representative represent the people who live in part of their state, called a district, and are up for reelection every 2 years.

In the Democratic Party Election, U.S. Representative District 10 (stretches from Austin to Houston) is up for reelection. In the Republican Party Election, U.S. Representatives District 18 (includes part of Harris County) and District 22 (includes parts of Fort Bend, Harris, and Brazoria counties) are up for reelection.

The current U.S. Representative District 10 is Michael McCaul of the Republican Party.
Michael McCaul is currently serving his 8th term as a U.S. Representative. He is devoutly pro-traditional marriage, and voted NO on reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act, on four weeks of paid parental leave for federal employees, and on Impeaching Donald Trump for high crimes and misdemeanors, Article I & II. To read about all his votes, click here. (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram)

The two Democratic candidates who are running for U.S. Representative District 10 are Mike Siegel and Pritesh Gandhi. Whoever wins in the Texas Primary Runoff Election on July 14th (must receive more than 50% of votes) will be the one to face against Michael McCaul in November Elections. If you’re voting in the Democratic Party, you will chose between these two candidates for U.S. Representative District 10. If you’re voting in the Republican Party, you will not get a chance to vote for these candidates.

Mike Siegel is a civil rights lawyer and a former public school teacher running for Congress. He believes that our current economy and political system is not working for most Americans. Huge corporations use their money and influence to rig the game to their own advantage. Mike believes that we need a movement to build a stronger America. To learn more about Mike Siegel and his views on political issues, click here. (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram)

Pritesh Gandhi is a father, husband, primary care doctor, and community advocate. Pritesh supports in the Justice in Policing Act of 2020 as well as shifting social welfare responsibilities of police officers, abide by progressive community policing strategies to rebuild trust between police officers, end retrograde practices like quota-driven and stop-and-frisk policing, etc. He also supports universal background checks when purchasing firearm and banning assault weapons and large-capacity magazines. To learn more about Pritesh Gandhi and his views on political issues, click here. (Facebook, Instagram).

The current U.S. Representative District 18 is Sheila Jackson Lee of the Democratic Party.
Sheila Jackson Lee is serving her 11th term as a U.S. Representative. Her priorities are fighting for healthcare and the environment as well as work to expand affordable housing for families, young people, and the homeless. Sheila has voted NO on Constitutionally defining marriage as one-man-one-woman, on banning gay adoptions, on more persecution and sentencing for juvenile crime. She has voted YES on expanding services for offenders’ re-entry into society, $40B for green public schools, and on Impeaching Donald Trump for high crimes and misdemeanors, Article I & II. To learn more about Sheila’s votes, click here. (Facebook, Twitter)

The two Republican candidates who are running for U.S. Representative District 18 are Robert M. Cadena and Wendell Champion. Whoever wins in the Texas Primary Runoff Election on July 14th (must receive more than 50% of votes) will be the one to face against Sheila Jackson Lee in November Elections. If you’re voting in the Republican Party, you will chose between these two candidates for U.S. Representative District 18. If you’re voting in the Democratic Party, you will not get a chance to vote for these candidates.

Robert M. Cadena is the current President for Harris County MUD 150 Board of Directors and has served as a Grand Juror for Harris County. He believes that healthcare, illegal immigration, and protecting our constitutional rights are the three most important issues and he supports penalizing states or cities who provide sanctuary for legal immigrants. To learn more about Robert and his views on political issues, click here. (Facebook, Twitter)

Wendell Champion served in the U.S. Army and Army Reserves for over five years and was honorably discharged after earning the rank of U.S. Army Captain. His focus is on infrastructure that provides, safer, secure neighborhoods with emphasis on decreasing flooding and disaster relief. Introduce and support development of dedicated resources to promote education, job skills training and career opportunities. Promote industry development to create higher paying and accessible local jobs. Require accountability for proper use and spending of tax dollars. To learn more about Wendell and his views on political issues, click here. (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram)

The current U.S. Representative District 22 is Pete Olson of the Republican Party.
Pete Olson is a former Navy pilot and. Some of his recent and past votes include YES on banning federal health coverage that includes abortion, federal funding to groups like Planned Parenthood, terminating the Home Affordable Mortgage Program, barring EPA from regulating greenhouse gases. He has voted NO on reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act, on prohibiting job discrimination based on sexual orientation, on $192B additional anti-recession stimulus spending in 2009, and on Impeaching Donald Trump for high crimes and misdemeanors, Article I & II. To read about all his votes, click here. (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram)

The two Republican candidates who are running for U.S. Representative District 22 are Troy Nehls and Kathaleen Wall. Whoever wins in the Texas Primary Runoff Election on July 14th (must receive more than 50% of votes) will be the one to face against Pete Olson in November Elections. If you’re voting in the Republican Party, you will chose between these two candidates for U.S. Representative District 22. If you’re voting in the Democratic Party, you will not get a chance to vote for these candidates.

Troy Nehls served the U.S. Army for 21 years and has spent the last two decades serving Fort Bend County in various law enforcement roles. Troy stands with President Trump to build the wall, deliver his America First agenda, drain the swamp, and Keep America Great. To learn more about Troy and his views on political issues, click here. (Facebook, Twitter)

Kathaleen Wall works to be the leader that President Trump needs, someone who will fight alongside him to defend conservative values, stop illegal immigration, and build the wall. To learn more about Kathaleen and her views on political issues, click here. (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram).

*edit 6.29.2020: The candidates mentioned above in both Democratic and Republican party are in the Harris County-only election.

Coming Next

In the next post, I’ll go over the remaining positions & candidates who are also part of the Texas Primary Runoff Election. I won’t go into so much detail as I did for this, so it will be easier to read!

Source, 1 Source,

Texas Primary Runoff Election 2020 (Part I)

Introduction

Hello! My name is Donna. I’m just your regular, 28-year-old gal who believes that as U.S. citizens, we should exercise our right to vote for our local, state, and national government officials and judicial system! I know this is my food/recipe blog and has nothing to do with politics, but hey, this is my blog after all and I will be posting whatever I want!

As an immigrant who became a permanent resident and eventually a U.S. citizen in 2014, I am empowered knowing that I can bring positive changes to my community by exercising my voting rights – I want you to experience that feeling too!

As a voter, you have the power to decide on the quality of life that you want for yourself and future generations. Your voice matters. Voting is a chance to stand up for the issues you care about! Voting gives us the chance to support candidates and propositions that can help our community, state, and even the entire country. I am hoping that you will want to make your voice heard in these elections and make the decision to vote for yourself and those around you.

You may be wondering why I’ve decided to put this information together – I have an answer for you! When I became a U.S. citizen and a major election day came (Texas Senator), I was genuinely confused about the process – from the logistics of registering to actually voting. I recall standing  in front of the electronic kiosk getting ready to make a selection – I thought I was only voting for 1 person and was surprised to find a long list of candidates spanning multiple pages  running for City Council, Judges, as well as propositions for future funding, etc. I ended up skipping those and missed an opportunity to vote for someone other than a Senator.

Yes, you can just Google everything or go to vote.org to find information. However, I find that doing so will give you either TOO much information or they use such formal language that may be difficult to understand exactly  how to vote, what & who you are voting for, why you are voting, and when to vote. In short, it is hard to decipher the relevant information and at the end of it all, you may be too overwhelmed to vote.

So I’m putting this information together for new voters or if you’ve voted before, and have found yourself in a similar predicament where you are unsure of who you’re voting for in the Texas Primary Runoff Election. My goal is to simplify the process so that hopefully you are better equipped during this upcoming election cycle and future elections!

A few disclaimers before you start diving in:

  • For each topic below, I sourced information/answers from official state websites such as vote.org, vote411.org, votetexas.gov, sos.texas.gov/elections, etc.
  • Since I live in Houston, TX, the majority of the information below is specific to Houston/Harris County or the State of Texas. I include links on how to find information about other states’ election where I can.
  • If I list out a how-to method for the topics below (e.g. how to register), it does not mean it’s the ONLY way – I’ve listed out what I believe would be the easiest way to accomplish those tasks.
  • I do not work for the government and I do not know everything about politics/elections, but I’ve done countless of hours of research and made sure, to the best of my ability, that the information I’ve provided below is as accurate as possible. If I misspoke, please let me know and I’ll make sure to fix the error.
  • With the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, dates and methods of voting may change. I will make sure to update this document as often as I can with the most up-to-date information (LAST UPDATED JUNE 4, 2020).  

General Information // Q&A

There are countless of questions when it comes to voting. Below are the handpicked questions that I hear of the most often from friends & family, or the question that I find myself asking almost every election I’ve participated in.

Q: Why are we having a Texas Primary Runoff election on July 14th?
A: On March 3rd, Texas had its regular Primary Election, however, no candidate received more than 50% of our votes. The run-off election candidates are the ones who came in first and second. The purpose of the primary [runoff] election is to finalize which candidates will be on the ballot for the general election in November.

did you know: If you voted in the March 3, 2020 Primary, you can only vote in the runoff election of the same party (Democrat or Republican).

Q: When is Texas Primary Runoff election?
A: Early Voting is between June 29th – July 10th, 2020 | Main election day for Texas Primary Runoff is on July 14th, 2020

Q: How can I vote?
A: In-person via Early Voting:

  • June 29th – July 2nd @ 7am – 7pm
  • July 5th @ 10am – 7pm
  • July 6th – July 10th @ 7am – 7pm.

– In-person via Election Day: Tuesday, July 14, 2020
– Ballot by mail: details at the end of this document*

Q: Can I do Early Voting?
A: Yes, you may! Any registered voter may vote early in person. But of course, you must vote in your county of registration.

Q: I’m not sure if I’m registered to vote. How do I check?
A: Go to this website! It takes 30 seconds!

  • For Texas: If you don’t remember if you’re registered, you most likely don’t remember your voter ID. You can use your TDL # (Texas Drivers License) & Date of Birth to “login”. If you’re registered, this will lead you to a page where you can see your Voter Information – your voter status (active, etc.), county (Harris, Fort Bend, etc.), and your VUID #, and much more!  https://teamrv-mvp.sos.texas.gov/MVP/mvp.do
  • For Other States: https://www.vote.org/am-i-registered-to-vote/

Q; It turns out I’m not registered to vote. Is it too late to register?
A: For Primary runoff election, your deadline to register is June 15th! Deadlines for November General Election differs per state… so hurry up and click here to register – it takes two seconds! For Texas, our deadline is October 5, 2020. You can also register by mail. You will have to request a postage-paid application by filling out this form and it will be mailed to you.

(There are Vietnamese & Chinese voter registration applications available for Harris County Residents only. These must be mailed in a stamped envelope).

For the rest of USA, find out how to register in your county/state by clicking here.

Q: Alright, I’m registered and ready to vote! Where do I go to vote?
A: If you live in Harris County (where I’m assuming most the people who follow me do), you can find polling locations using this website (this may not be ‘live’ yet until closer to Early Voting date). I am not sure about other counties in Houston, but please note that in Harris County there are different locations for Early Voting vs. Election Day. Please pay attention when you make this selection on the website.

If you live in Texas, you can use the same link where you checked your registration to find polling locations. After logging in, you will see a box that will be populated with links such as voting sites, a few days before early voting begins.

Q: I’m registered to vote, but I recently moved within the past year. What do I do?
A: If you moved within the same county, you may submit the “in county” change online by clicking here. The last day to make a change of address for the July 14th Primary Runoff Election is June 15, 2020. If you moved to a new county, you must re-register in your new county of residence by June 15th, to be eligible to vote in the July 14th Primary Runoff Election.

Q: Do I need to bring my voter certificate card/ID? Will I be able to vote without it?
A: No, you do not need it to vote. However, if you do not have a valid form of photo ID, your voter registration form can work as an ID!

Q: Oops, my acceptable form of photo ID is expired… can I still vote?
A: If you are between the age 18-69, your photo ID cannot be expired for more than 4 years when you’re at the polling place. For ages 70+, it can be expired for any length of time.

Q: Does the address on my acceptable form of photo ID have to match the address on my registration?
A: Nope! There is no address matching requirement!

Other Very Important Facts That You May Not Know

  • If you voted Democrat/Republican in the Primary or Runoff, you are not obligated to vote for that party’s candidates in the November General Election! You can vote for any candidate in the ballot!
  • We are lucky in Texas because most Judges are elected by its residents! The fact that we get to participate in judicial races means that this is one of the most important things we can do as a Texas voter! Judges make decisions about fundamental issues that affect all of us – family life, education, healthcare, housing, employment, finances, DISCRIMINATION, CIVIL RIGHTS, public safety, and government actions. These decisions can have long-lasting impact on individuals, groups, and the public. It is critical that we vote for judges who can make fair decisions based upon open-minded and unbiased consideration of the facts and the law in each case.
  • You are required to show an approved form of photo ID. However, if you do not have and cannot reasonably obtain one of these IDs, you can bring one of the supporting documents to the polling place. The officials should help you complete a form and you’ll be able to vote:
    • Valid Voter Registration Certificate
    • Certified Birth Certificate (must be original)
    • Copy of original Bank Statement
    • Copy of or original Government check or paycheck
    • Copy of or original current Utility Bill
    • Copy of or original government document with your name and an address (original required if it contains a photograph)

Coming Next

For the next update, I’ll be tackling the most exciting part of voting – the Primary Runoff Election candidates! I know this is a lot of information so far, so hang with me! I will be going over all the positions we are voting for and the runoff candidates for each position, Democrat & Republican. Since most of my friends who will be reading are most likely in Harris County, I will be going over positions and candidates who are part of the Harris County election.

Ballot by Mail*

Voters may cast mail ballots if they are at least 65 years old, if they will be out of Harris County during the Early Voting period and on Election Day, if they are sick or disabled or if they are incarcerated but eligible to vote. Mail ballots may be requested by visiting harrisvotes.com or by phoning 713-755-6965. You can also download the mail ballot application here. A signed paper copy of your ballot by mail request must be received no later than Thursday, July 2, 2020. Requests received by fax or email will not be honored. The last day to receive ballot by mail is—

  • Tuesday, July 14, 2020 (Election Day) at 7:00 p.m. if carrier envelope is not postmarked OR
  • Wednesday, July 15, 2020 (next business day after Election Day) at 5:00 p.m. if carrier envelope is postmarked by 7:00 p.m. at the location of the election on Election Day (unless overseas or military voter deadlines apply)*