Making Democracy Work

Frequently Asked Questions about Primary Elections

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

Questions about Voting

District 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.)

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

In Texas, if you are already registered to vote, 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 can only vote in one primary, and 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.

District Convention

What happens at a Senate District Convention?

At the Senate District Convention, delegates are elected to attend the party's State Convention. Also, resolutions on issues are voted on by the delegates.

What is a precinct convention?

It is a meeting that may be held by a major party (Republican or Democrat) following the Primary Election to choose delegates to attend a District Convention.

Will both parties be holding precinct conventions in 2016?

No. The Republicans will be holding precinct conventions in Texas, but the Democrats will not.

How will delegates be chosen to attend District Conventions?

To read a description of the process to be used to choose delegates for the Republican Party District Conventions in Dallas and Collin Counties, click here.

To read a description of the process to be used to choose delegates for the Democratic Party District Conventions in Texas, click here.

How many delegates may be elected from each precinct?

It varies with the party, but is based on the number of votes cast in each precinct during the Primary Election.

What if I voted early? Can I still attend my District Convention?

Yes. See the links above for details on the process.

What happens at a Senate District Convention?

At the Senate District Convention, delegates are elected to attend the party's State Convention. Also, resolutions on issues are voted on by the delegates.

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.