How to Make Sure Your Vote Counts in Houston This November

Everything you need to know to make sure your vote counts in 2022.

The 2022 Midterm Election is coming up on Tuesday, November 8, with all 435 seats in the House of Representatives and 35 of the 100 seats in the Senate up for grabs across the nation.

In Texas, those who vote will be electing our next officials for seven statewide seats, with the race for the Governor’s seat—incumbent Republican Greg Abbott versus Democrat Beto O’Rourke—having the most eyes on it. Then there are the races for district-based congressional and legislative offices, judicial seats, and the State Board of Education on the ballot, as well.

Making your voice heard by voting is paramount, but there is certainly a lot to cover. So, we’ve rounded up all the info you need to know to ensure your vote counts in Houston, including key election deadlines, registration details, what’s on the ballot for Texas, and how to vote by mail.

Flickr/Matthew Prosser
Flickr/Matthew Prosser

What’s on the ballot:

We mentioned the big Abbott versus O’Rourke race for Governor of Texas, but other key races include seats for Lieutenant Governor of Texas, State House, State Senate, State Supreme Court, Texas Attorney General, Texas Railroad Commissioner, and more.

Holding onto the position since 2015, State Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) is once again running for re-election, with Rochelle Garza (D) and Mark Ash (L) running for the four-year seat.

We also have Mike Collier (D) and Shanna Steele (L) gunning to turn the tides against incumbent Lieutenant Governor of Texas Dan Patrick (R).

Thanks to a boost in population, Texas has a new 38-district congressional map, incorporating two new House seats. The Texas House of Representatives’ current delegation is majority Republican, and this year, eligible Texans will elect 38 candidates to serve and represent our districts in the U.S. House. And because the districts were redrawn last year, all 31 seats in the Texas Senate are also up for grabs.

The Texas Supreme Court has nine justices, with three of its nine seats (all three currently R) up for election this November.

While the Houston mayoral election will be held November 7, 2023, Harris County Commissioners Court Judge, which acts as the head of Harris County's governing body, is on the ballot, with incumbent Lina Hidalgo (D) facing Alexandra Mealer (R).

Sample ballots can be found by finding your county on the Texas Secretary of State’s office official county list, then searching your county’s website for ballot information; or by entering your address in Ballotpedia.

The sample ballot for Harris County will be available 40 - 45 days before Election Day.

Flickr/waltarrrrr
Flickr/waltarrrrr

What’s the deadline to register to vote in Houston, Texas?

Texas law requires eligible voters to register by the 30th day before Election Day, meaning the last day to register to vote in the Midterm Elections is Tuesday, October 11, 2022.

How to register to vote in Houston, Texas

Eligible voters can start a new voter registration application online (check out the eligibility requirements here). After you submit your voter registration application, a voter registration certificate (that’s your proof of registration) will be mailed to you within 30 days.

To confirm your registration status, visit the Texas Secretary of State’s “Am I Registered?” portal, which’ll allow you to search for your voter registration record in the statewide database. Since voter registration in Texas is county-based, you can contact your county voter registrar for specific questions regarding your status.

Texans who have recently changed their name or moved can update their voter registration online through Texas.gov.

Can I vote early?

Yes! Any registered voter may vote early in person.

The first day of early voting by personal appearance is Monday, October 24, 2022; and the last day of early voting by personal appearance is Friday, November 4, 2022.

Can I vote by mail?

As long as you’re eligible and apply for/mail in your ballot on time. See who can vote by mail here, which includes those who are 65 years or older, sick or disabled, and away from their county on Election Day and during the hours that early voting is conducted, among other eligible voters. Individuals who do not meet the requirements are expected to vote in person.

To vote by mail, you must first complete an Application for Ballot by Mail. The last day to apply for a ballot by mail (received by, not postmarked by) is Friday, October 28, 2022.

The last day mailed in ballots will be accepted is by Tuesday, November 8, 2022 (Election Day) at 7 pm CST if the carrier envelope is not postmarked, OR by Wednesday, November 9, 2022 at 5 pm CST if the carrier envelope is postmarked by 7 pm CST on Election Day (unless overseas or military voter deadlines apply).

You can track the status of your ballot by mail application or your ballot by entering your information on the Ballot by Mail Tracker.

Flickr/Hadley Paul Garland
Flickr/Hadley Paul Garland

How to find your polling place

Check the “Am I Registered?” section on Texas Vote to find election day voting locations, which will be populated with voting sites a few days before Election Day. You can also find your Texas County website and search there for your nearest polling sites.

Harris County’s 2022 Midterm General Election polling locations are listed here, with early voting times and locations for Harris County here.

Election Day polls are open from 7 am to 7 pm.

How to volunteer as a poll worker

To get involved as a poll worker, you can take Texas’ Online Poll Worker Training program, available free of charge, 24/7, for all poll workers. Poll workers must self-register into the system by signing up for the course.

Those who want to help officially registering voters in the State of Texas can become a Volunteer Deputy Registrar by contacting the voter registrar in your county for info and training.

Some additional Houston, Texas voting resources

Check out the Texas Secretary of State’s Elections Division for official information; or contact the Elections Division of the Office of the Texas Secretary of State at 1-800-252-VOTE (8683) or via email at elections@sos.texas.gov for assistance, questions, and additional voting information.

The Vote Texas website has all your deets, too, including a Voting by Mail guide, Voting in Person information, additional resources, and more.

Brooke Viggiano is a Houston-based writer that doesn’t know if she can pick a favorite from these five neighborhoods. See if she secretly has one by following her @brookiefafa on Insta or @brookeviggiano on Twitter.