Making Democracy Work

2020 Frequently Asked Questions about Primary Elections

What do I need to know about Primaries and District Conventions?

Questions about Voting

State Convention

Minor Parties

Questions about Voting

What is a Primary Election?

It is an election held by one of the major political parties to determine which candidate will represent them for each race on the ballot at the next General Election.

Who's in charge of the Primaries?

The major political parties (Democrats and Republicans) are in charge of their respective Primary Elections. (See below for information on minor parties.)

Do the Propositions on the ballot become laws?

No. The Propositions that each party puts on the ballot in the Primary Elections are non-binding, meaning that they do not become laws. They are more like an opinion poll.

If I voted in the last election, do I need to re-register?

Not unless you have moved or changed your name. If you are already registered to vote, haven't changed your name, and live at the same address you were registered at previously, you do not need to re-register. You can check to see if you are registered on your county Elections Office website (Dallas or Collin). The deadline to register to vote or change your address or name is about 30 days before an election.

Which party's Primary Election am I allowed to vote in?

In Texas, if you are already registered to vote by the deadline, you may choose to vote in either the Republican Primary or the Democratic Primary. You may NOT vote in both Primary elections in the same election cycle (essentially, in the same year).

Where do I go to vote?

Go to your county Elections Office website (Dallas or Collin) to find polling locations for Early Voting and Election Day.

NOTE: Your polling place for a Primary or Primary Runoff may be different than your polling place for a General Election.

Do I have to register with a party beforehand in order to vote in their Primary Election?

No. You may vote in either party's Primary.

If I vote in a party's Primary, do I have to vote for the same candidates in the fall election?

No, you may vote for any candidate on the ballot in the fall election, regardless of the primary you voted in.

May I vote in a party's Primary if I voted in the other party's Primary two years ago?

Yes.

Who may vote in the Primary Runoff Election?

You may only vote in one party's primary. If you vote in that primary, you are entitled to vote in that party's runoff election in the same election cycle.

If you don't vote in either primary, you may still vote in either party's Primary Runoff Election.

State Convention

How do I get to be a delegate to my party's State Convention?

You need to be chosen as a delegate at a Precinct, District, or County Convention. The method and choosing delegates depends on which party you belong to. The coronavirus may have changed this process for 2020. Please refer to your county's party website for more information.

Minor Parties

What is the difference between a major party and a minor party?

A minor party is either a new party that did not exist during the last General Election or one whose candidate for governor received less than 20% of the vote in the last General Election.

Do the minor parties hold Primary Elections?

No. They choose their candidates through party conventions.

Where can I find out about the minor parties in Texas?

Go to the Useful Links page of this website.