by Laura Bray
for the “Progressive Views” column, Boerne Star, December 31, 2021
The March 1, 2022 primary is only a little over eight weeks away. Kendall County will hold both a Democratic and a Republican Primary, so the voters can decide which candidates will appear on the ballot in the November General Election—often called a “mid-term election.”
Here in Kendall County, we have one of the best election departments in the state. Elections Administrator Staci Decker and her staff provide thorough training of all election workers, and they are very organized and detail-oriented. You can rest assured that your vote will be recorded and counted accurately and that the voting machines are secure.
The March Primary will include candidates for all partisan races, including statewide offices (Governor, Lt. Governor, Attorney General, etc.), the US Congress, the Texas Senate, the Texas House of Representatives, and all county-wide offices (such as County Judge, County Commissioners for Precincts 2 and 4, County Clerk, and more). Texas is not voting for a US Senator this time around. Non-partisan races, such as City Council and School Boards, are decided in an election in early May.
Kendall County recently approved new County Commissioner precincts, based on the results of the 2020 Census. You can find a map of the new precincts at the Kendall County Elections Office (KCEO) website, in the section labelled “Election Results and Maps.”
Texas holds an “open primary.” According to BallotPedia, “An open primary is any primary election in which a voter either does not have to formally affiliate with a political party in order to vote in its primary or can declare his or her affiliation with a party at the polls on the day of the primary even if the voter was previously affiliated with a different party.” Unlike some states, where you declare your party when you register to vote, Texas has no such requirement. A voter “declares” their party affiliation by choosing which Primary to vote in—either Democratic or Republican. When you visit your polling place (or when you request your ballot-by-mail), you will tell the voting clerk which Primary you want to vote in. Once you’ve voted in one party’s Primary, you cannot vote in the other party’s Primary or runoff election. Voters will see only the candidates for the Primary of their choice—in other words, if you vote in the Democratic Primary, your ballot will not include any Republican candidates.
According to the American Civil Liberties Union, Texas is one of only 12 states that does not permit online voter registration. To be eligible to vote in the March 1 Primary, voters must register no later than Monday, January 31. You can register to vote at the KCEO office at 221 Fawn Valley Dr. in Boerne. You can also request a form online (which you must then print and mail) at www.vote411.org/register. If you’re already registered, you will receive an updated voter registration card in the mail in mid-January. This card will tell you which races will be on your ballot and will list your current voting precinct (although you can vote at any polling location in the county).
If you’re eligible to vote by mail, you can request an application to do so beginning January 1, 2022. To request an application to vote by mail, call the KCEO at 830-331-8701. To review eligibility requirements for voting by mail, Google “who can vote by mail in Texas.”
Early voting begins February 14 and runs through February 25. Early voting is held at the KCEO office on Fawn Valley. Election Day is Tuesday, March 1. Kendall County will have eleven polling locations, and you can vote at any one of them. (A list of locations will be available on the KCEO website and in the Boerne Star in mid-February.) Sample ballots listing all the candidates and races for each Primary will be available online (at the KCEO website) or at their office on Fawn Valley by mid-February.
By early February, the Kendall County Democratic Party website will have all the information you need to know before you vote. Just click the “Get Ready to Vote” button at the top of the page for candidate information, a sample ballot, polling locations, and more.
We encourage all local Democrats to vote in the Democratic Primary, so we can field the strongest slate of candidates for the November mid-term election. For more information on voting or the March Primary, call our office at 830-331-1243 or visit www.kcdems.us
Laura Bray is Chair of the Kendall County Democratic Party