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Sunday, September 23, 2018

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2018 primaries preview: Where can I vote?


Voting registration for primaries passed Monday, but you can still register to vote for the general election in November.

Voting registration for primaries passed Monday, but you can still register to vote for the general election in November. | Rebekah Stearns/The Cougar

The election cycle is here again. Primaries will feature elections for offices such as the U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives, Texas Governor, and additional positions within the government.

Incumbents Sen. Ted Cruz and Gov. Greg Abbott are running for reelection in the highest profile state races. Early voting will begin Feb. 20 and end  March 2. The ballot by mail applications close on Feb. 23, and Election Day is March 6. The nearest polling station for students is in downtown.

What are the primaries?

Primary elections are elections that pick a single person from a party to represent the party in the November electionsIn Texas, some offices have as many as 22 candidates running, according to the Texas Tribune. During the primaries, if no candidate receives more than 50 percent of the votes, then a run-off is held between the top candidates. More than 200 offices in the state are up for grabs.

Primary elections for all of the state house and half of the state senate are occurring. There are also elections for lieutenant governor, attorney general, state Supreme Court seats and U.S. House seats.

How can I vote?

Students with a registered address in the University of Houston district are eligible to vote at the Harris County Law Library located at 1019 Congress Ave, Houston, TX 77009 on Election Day. If a student’s registered address is at a different location in the state, they will not be eligible to vote at the location on election day. You can vote at any polling location in your registered county for early voting.

Students are advised to refer to the Harris Votes website to find their correct polling station if they intend to vote on election day. More information about voting can be found at VoteTexas.org.

For people who have not yet registered, they will be unable to vote in the primaries as the registration period closed on Monday. Since Texas is not a state that allows same-day registration, those who missed the deadline are unable to vote in these primaries. However, people wishing to vote in the 2018 general elections will need to register by Tuesday, Oct. 9.

To vote or not?

Liberal studies junior Cassidy Preuninger doesn’t plan on voting. She said she does not know much regarding the 2018 elections.

“If I knew more about what was going on, I would vote,” Preuninger said.

While she may not vote, she stressed the importance of voting.

“It’s very important to vote and get your voice heard,” Preuninger said. “It’s important to get your voice out there and to change something that you want to be changed.”

Mathematics senior Diego Cepeda said he will be voting during the Texas primaries, something he says he does every time it comes around. Broadcast journalism senior Jack McCraw also said he will be voting.

“I believe it is my due diligence as a citizen to go vote,” McCraw said. “The best way to get our voice heard is to vote.”

Beyond the primaries, the 2018 general elections will begin with early voting on Oct. 22 and will end Nov. 6.

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