Disclaimer: The information in this document is intended to provide basic information on voting and the bylaws surrounding voting in the individual states. Policies and Laws may change at any given moment, so please be diligent and do research into your respective precinct/county/state laws and procedures around voting.
What is Super Tuesday?
Super Tuesday is the day on which many states, including Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas, hold their Presidential Primary Elections. This year’s Super Tuesday is on March 3rd, 2020.
What are Primary Elections?
The Primary Elections are the precursor to the General Presidential Election, where major parties like the Republican and Democractic parties vote nationwide to elect a single candidate who will run in the General Presidential Election on Tuesday, November 3rd 2020.
A note on Closed/Semi-Closed/Open Primaries:
Some states give you the option to note your political affiliation when you register to vote. Here is why that’s important:
In an OPEN primary, any registered voter can vote in any party’s primary. Voters choose which primary to vote in (voters must choose ONE); they do not have to be members of that party in order to vote. For instance: a registered Democrat can choose to vote in the Republican primary but NOT BOTH Democratic Primary AND Republican Primary.
In a SEMI-CLOSED primary, unaffiliated or independent voters are allowed to vote in certain primaries at the discretion of the political party. If you are registered as a Republican or Democrat, you MUST vote in that party primary.
Texas is an OPEN primary state – you can choose which primary you want to vote in Republican or Democratic. If there is a runoff, you must continue to vote in either the Republican or Democratic run off.
Oklahoma is a SEMI-CLOSED primary state – if you are registered as a Democrat or a Republican, you must vote in that primary. If you an independant, you can vote in the Democratic Primary if you so choose. If you are a registered Libertarian, you may only vote in Libertarian primaries. Only registered Republicans can vote in Republican primaries. If there is a runoff you must continue to vote in either the Republican, Democratic, etc. primary you originally voted in.
Arkansas is an OPEN primary state – you can choose which primary you want to vote in Republican or Democratic. If there is a runoff you must continue to vote in either the Republican or Democratic run off.
What other elections are happening besides the primary elections for the US Presidency?
Every state, county, municipality, etc. will be having many smaller elections for positions such as judges, county clerks, city council, state legislature, and Congress. These elections are just as important, if not equally important for you to vote in. These individuals will be determining policies and laws that impact you specifically at a local level. Do. Your. Research. into the candidates and elections happening in your area.
What is an Absentee Ballot?
An Absentee Ballot is a Ballot that is mailed to your address of residence for you to fill out and mail back before Super Tuesday. This is a great way to participate in voting early, if you’re disabled and can’t make it to the polls, if you’re busy on Super Tuesday, or you won’t be in town on Super Tuesday where you’re registered to vote. To request an Absentee Ballot, please visit your state voting website.
As of February 28th, 2020 the deadline to request an Absentee Ballot for the Primary Elections has closed for Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas. You can still request an Absentee Ballot for the General Presidential Election in November.
You must have your absentee ballot in the hands of the election board BY March 3rd, 2020 before polls close. This means you must mail it back to them a few days prior to allow for the postal service to properly deliver it in time.
What if I’m not registered to vote? Who is eligible to vote?
You can register to vote all year, but you must have already been registered to vote at this time in order to participate in the Primary Elections. You can still register to vote in the General Presidential Election in November. In order to be eligible to vote, you must:
- Be a US Citizen
- Be a resident of the county you submitted your application to
- Be at least 17 years and 10 months old, and be 18 years of age on Election Day
- Not be a convicted felon (you may be eligible to vote if you have completed your sentence, probation, and parole depending on the state in which you reside) and/or
- You have not been declared by a court exercising parole jurisdiction to either be totally mentally incapacitated or partially mentally incapacitated without the right to vote
Your registration is valid when you receive your voter registration card and/or certificate in the mail.
Where can I vote?
All polling locations in Texas and Oklahoma are open from 7 AM to 7 PM. In Arkansas, they are open from 7:30 AM – 7:30 PM. It is advised you go early to wait in line and allot as much time as possible to spend at the polls as lines get long. Tell your employer, professors, teachers, misc. That you intend to vote. They may give you time off to do that.
Polling Locations are broken down by precinct. Precincts are smaller zones within Counties, which are subdivisions of cities.
Texas – On your Voter Registration Certificate, there is a specific precinct number. Depending on the county you live in, you may be allowed to vote at any polling location in that county. Here is a list of Counties approved for the Countywide Polling Place Program [Link]. If you do not live within any of those counties in Texas, you will need to find your Polling Location which can be found here [Link].
Oklahoma – You can only vote at your assigned polling place. To find out your assigned polling place, use the Voter Portal [Link] and log in using your last name, first name, and date of birth.
Arkansas – Some counties will allow you to cast your ballot at any vote center in the County. To find out if you live in one of those counties, or to check your vote center, use the Voter Portal link for Arkansas at the bottom of this page.
What do I need to bring with me the polls?
Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas require you to bring some approved form of identification with you the polls. Generally, the ID must verify that your address and name match you the person and the ID usually must have some form of photo identification on it. All three states have provisional ballot programs if you happen to forget your ID, however there is no promise that the Elections Board will find your information accurate and count your vote. If you end up casting a provisional ballot, you have the right to be informed in writing of whether or not your ballot was counted and, if not, why.
Texas – by law registered voters must provide one of the 7 approved identification documents listed below at their place of polling. If you cannot provide one, you may present a supporting form of identification and execute a Reasonable Impediment Declaration, which is stating why you cannot get an acceptable form of ID and stating the information on the Declaration is true. If you forget your ID/have reasonable means to obtain an ID, then you will need to cast a Provisional Ballot. If your name is “substantially similar” to your ID, then you can vote but must sign an affidavit stating that you are the same person. In order to have the provisional ballot counted the voter will be required to visit the county voter registrar’s office within six calendar days of the date of the election to either present an acceptable form of photo ID OR follow the Reasonable Impediment Declaration procedure, or, if applicable, submit one of the temporary affidavits listed here [Link].
The following are examples of approved documents to verify identity at the polls:
- Texas Driver License issued by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS)
- Texas Election Identification Certificate issued by DPS
- Texas Personal Identification Card issued by DPS
- Texas Handgun License issued by DPS
- United States Military Identification Card containing the person’s photograph
- United States Citizenship Certificate containing the person’s photograph
- United States Passport (book or card)
Oklahoma – by law registered voters must prove their identity at their place of polling when voting. You must bring any document issued by the United States, the State of Oklahoma, or a federally recognized tribal government if it includes your name, a photograph of you, and an expiration date that is later than the election in which you are voting. The following are examples of approved documents:
- Oklahoma drivers license
- Oklahoma identification card
- US Passport
- US Military Identification
- Voter Identification card
The information in the Precinct Registry must match your identification, so if your address or name has changed and your ID reflects that, you won’t be able to vote.
If you don’t have any of these documents, you can cast a provisional ballot and sign a sworn affidavit that you are who you say you are. The County Elections Board will investigate the information you’ve provided and make a decision on whether or not to accept your ballot.
Arkansas – by law Arkansas voters must verify their voter registration at the polls. If you are unable to verify your registration at your place of polling, your ballot will be cast as a Provisional Ballot. If this happens to you, you have until 12:00 PM (noon) the following Monday after the Election to provide proper identification. When voting, please bring a document or identification card that:
- Shows the name of the person to whom the document or identification card was issued;
- Shows a photograph of the person to whom the document or identification card was issued;
- Is issued by the United States, the State of Arkansas, or an accredited postsecondary educational institution in the State of Arkansas; and
- If displaying an expiration date, is not expired or expired no more than four (4) years before the date of the election in which the voter seeks to vote.
Forms of ID that are accepted at your place of polling to verify your voter registration:
- A driver’s license
- A photo identification card
- A concealed handgun carry license
- A US passport
- An employee badge or identification document issued by an accredited postsecondary education institution in the State of Arkansas
- A US military identification document
- A public assistance identification card if the card shows a photograph of the person to whom the document or identification card was issued
- A voter verification card as provided by Arkansas
- It is a Class C misdemeanor to wear campaign gear to polling locations in Texas
Voting in Texas on Super Tuesday: Everything you need to know by the Texas Tribune
2020 Arkansas Primaries: Guide to Voting by 4029 TV News
- The Media is no stranger to political bias. Please consult this chart to make informed decisions about which sources to trust for accurate and balanced reporting for elections
- Specific resources on Asian/Pacific Islander American Voting and registering to vote for your local VSA’s
UVSA South is not authorized to share or promote specific voter guides on candidates and their platforms. This is to ensure that we are not promoting or perpetuating political bias to our constituents. Please do your due diligence to research and find voter guides on candidates prior to voting.