by Laura Bray
for the “Progressive Views” column, Boerne Star, February 28, 2020
The Texas primary election is now underway. Early voting ends today, Friday, February 28, at the Kendall County Courthouse Annex (221 Fawn Valley Dr., Boerne). Did you vote early? Thank you! If not, Election Day is next Tuesday, March 3. Make your voice heard in the process to select our Democratic nominees for the critical 2020 elections.
The Kendall County Democratic Party website has all the information you need to know before you vote. Simply click the “Get Ready to Vote” button at the top of the page for candidate information, a sample ballot, polling locations, and more.
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 top-line races—President, Senator, and Congressman—have enjoyed lots of media coverage. But you also need to vote down-ballot for offices like Railroad Commissioner, State Board of Education Place 5, and many judicial seats. Make sure to vote in all the races (although you are not required to do so).
Here are some other things to keep in mind if you haven’t already voted:
Once again, Kendall County voters can choose any one of the eleven voting locations throughout the county. (See our website for a map and list of locations.) Please note that on Election Day itself, the Elections Office (on Fawn Valley) is not a voting location—but Boerne Bible Church just down the street is. Also, the Patrick Heath Public Library is not a voting location this time around. Instead, you can visit the training room at the brand-new City Hall (447 N. Main St. in Boerne).
With interest in the election and its candidates so high, there’s the potential for long lines and long waits at polling locations on Election Day. Consider a polling location that (generally) has fewer voters, such as the Sisterdale Community Center or Waring Fire House. (That aforementioned page on our website has a map of all voting locations.)
Please remember that guns—either openly carried or concealed—are not permitted in polling locations (except for peace officers). Please leave them in your car. Also note that “electioneering” (promoting a specific candidate) is not allowed within 100 feet of a polling location. This means that you cannot wear political shirts, pins, hats, etc. into the polling location. Election workers will ask you to remove any such pins or hats, or turn the shirt inside-out before checking you in to vote.
The Texas voter ID law is still in effect, so please bring your ID when you vote. Acceptable forms of photo ID include a Texas driver’s license; a Texas Election Identification Certificate (issued by DPS); a Texas personal identification card (issued by DPS); a Texas concealed handgun license; a US military ID including a photograph; a US citizenship certificate including a photograph; or a US passport. The Kendall County Elections Department website has full details on voter ID requirements, including what to do if you don’t have one or can’t get one of the above forms of photo ID.
Note that you may not use cell phones at the polling location. We encourage you instead to print out a sample ballot ahead of time and mark your selections there. You are allowed to bring paper with you to the voting machine.
If you have mobility issues or have trouble standing for long periods, you may request to vote from your car (curbside voting). Simply call the Elections Office at 830-331-8701 and request that a machine be brought out to you. You do not need to have a handicapped placard or license plate to take advantage of this service.
When you check in at your selected polling location, you—the voter—will tell the clerk which primary you wish to vote in. We hope you’ll proudly say, “I’m a Democrat and I want to vote in the Democratic Primary.” You can also point to the “Democratic” box on the form at the check-in table to indicate your preference.
The Kendall County Democratic Party website includes a full list of Democratic candidates with links to their websites and League of Women Voters candidate profiles.