MRT's 2020 Voter Guide


How do I check if I'm registered to vote?

Check your registration status on or by contacting your county voter registrar's office.

Can I register to vote online in Texas?

No, Texas is one of nine states that do not allow this.

I'm in the armed forces or otherwise overseas. How do I register to vote?

Contact the Federal Voting Assistance Program. They'll be able to help, as the rules are different for you than for people living in the U.S.

I'm a student -- where do I register to vote, at school or at home?

It's up to you. Just remember you must pick one location where you'll register and vote.

Can I vote early by mail?

You can vote by mail if you will be away from your county on Election Day and during the hours that early voting is conducted; are sick or disabled; are 65 years of age or older on Election Day; or you are in jail.

Does lack of immunity to COVID-19 qualify me for a mail-in ballot?

The Texas Supreme Court has ruled that voters can take their lack of immunity into consideration when determing whether, considered along with other health factors, they qualify as having a disability, and thus, eligible for a mail-in ballot. Voters do not have to define their disability on their mail-in ballot application. The Supreme Court also said county election officials have no responsibility to question or investigate a mail-in ballot application that is valid on its face. It's unclear, but appears unlikely, that individual voters would face charges. Keith Ingram, the state's director of elections, has told the courts that he does not know whether anyone had been prosecuted for fraudulent use of an application for ballot by mail in the last 20 years. He also acknowledged that for the state to prosecute, it would have to prove that a voter acted "intentionally or with knowledge of his or her fraudulent conduct."

How do I request a mail-in ballot? When's my deadline?

Fill out an application for ballot by mail and hand it in to your county elections office. There are several ways of turning it in: Either drop it off in person before the start of early voting, which begins Oct. 13, or mail it. Local election officials have to have received your applications by Oct. 23. The application can also be submitted by fax or email, but you'll still have to send it again by mail within four business days. Military or overseas voters can get more information on requesting a ballot here.

Do mail-in or provisional ballots only get counted if a race is close?

Nope, that's a common misconception. All valid mail-in applications and approved provisional ballots wil be counted — they just may not make it into the unofficial count that in years past has come out on Election Night. This year, however, with increased mail-in voting expected, there may not be enough votes collected on Election Night to even produce a reliable unofficial count.

I registered to vote. What do I need to do with the postcard I received in the mail?

That's your voter registration certificate. Read the information on the back of the certificate and make sure it's right, sign by the X on the front of the card (the yellow area). If you need to make changes, make them, sign the card, then mail it back to the registrar. If no changes are necessary, no need to do anything. You do not need to bring the card to vote in person (just acceptable forms of identification), but it can't hurt to bring it just in case you need it as back-up.

What do I need to bring with me to vote?

You'll need one of seven acceptable forms of photo ID: Texas Driver License issued by the Texas Department of Public Safety; Texas Election Identification Certificate; Texas Personal Identification Card; Texas Handgun License; United States Military Identification Card containing the person’s photograph; U.S. Citizenship Certificate containing your photograph; or U.S. Passport.

If you can't reasonably obtain one of these, you can still cast a ballot by presenting a supporting form of ID (such as a voter registration certificate, utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck or birth certificate) and signing what's called a Reasonable Impediment Declaration.

Can I use expired ID as my photo identification?

For voters under 70, yes, as long as it's not more than four years expired by the date you're trying to use it to vote. For voters 70 or older, expiration does not matter as long as the identification is otherwise valid.

I waited in a long line to vote, only to realize I left my ID at home. Can I still vote?

Yes, but the process is a bit more complicated. Of course you can always get your ID and return to the polling place. If you'd prefer to stay, you can cast what's called a provisional ballot. Think of it as a conditional ballot. It will only count on the condition that you bring the ID to the county voter registrar’s office by the sixth calendar day after Election Day (Nov. 9).

Does the address on my ID have to match my address on the official list of registered voters?


Where do I go to vote in-person?

If you're a Midland County resident, check here. For other counties, check your voter registrar's website listed by county here.

Key Dates

October 5, 2020

Last day to register to vote

October 13, 2020

First day of early voting

October 23, 2020

Last day to apply for ballot by mail (received, not postmarked)

October 30, 2020

Last day of early voting

November 3, 2020

Election Day

Local Races

Midland College Trustee District

Midland College’s seats are at-large positions, so a person can run for any seat, and all eligible voters within the college district vote on each place.

Midland College Trustee, Place 7

Adrian Carrasco

As a business owner, Carrasco sees the future of Midland College being even more complementary to the business community.

Will R. Green

Green believes Midland College leadership has been effective during his time on the board and is asking voters for another six years to represent them.

R. Shaun Rainey

Rainey said from an input standpoint, it is time to “reinvigorate the board with fresh information” and that community input will tell the board if Midland College is meeting the needs from a community standpoint and business standpoint.”

Midland College Trustee, Place 8

Scott Lynch

Lynch’s priorities start with turning Midland College into a more modern and technologically focused institution.

Ralph Way

Way, the longest-serving member, has been on the board for 42 years.

Midland ISD School District Trustee

Midland ISD School Trustee, District 1

James E. Fuller

Fuller, the longest-serving member of the board of trustees, is seeking another term to lead east Midland.

Michael Booker

Booker, a lifelong Midlander and graduate of Midland ISD schools, said there is no reason that Midland ISD can’t perform better academically and that the district needs to do more to keep its facilities “top-notch.”

Matt Reyes Galindo

Galindo said he is not running as part of a political action group but will take his cues from the District 1 residents and MISD families.

Midland ISD School Trustee, District 2

Robert Marquez

Marquez, who is seeking another term, wants to finish what he started.

Rachel Davis

Davis, a Midlander for the last six years and MISD volunteer for the past four, said the district has continually failed the students and families in the district with inadequate curriculum and underperforming programs such as iStation and Imagine Math.

Midland ISD School Trustee, District 4

Steve Vargas

Vargas, a Texas Department of Public Safety trooper, said leadership -- from the superintendent’s office on down to campuses and in classrooms -- is what he believes will fix an ailing district. He believes that reform is necessary. He says the issues are systemic. He claims the lack of accountability is making policies useless.

Joel Diehl

Diehl is running for school board as a pro-teacher, pro-student candidate.

Katie Wallace Joyner

Joyner is running for school board because residents deserve board members who are willing to ask the hard questions, do the research and listen to the community’s concerns.

Midland ISD School Trustee, District 7

Bryan Murry

Murry wants to continue to work on Midland ISD’s return to educational excellence, and that is a reason he is running for re-election to the school.

Joseph Gallegos

District Courts

District Judge, 142nd Judicial District

David G. Rogers

District Judge, 385th Judicial District

Leah G. Robertson

District Attorney, 142nd Judicial District

Laura A. Nodolf

U.S. President

Joe Biden hopes to be the first Democrat to win Texas since Jimmy Carter in 1976. But President Trump has worked on his ground game in this state for more than a year.

Donald Trump

President Trump's re-election campaign rests on a strong pre-virus economy, income tax cuts and his handling of the COVID-19 crisis.

Joe Biden

Biden, the former VP on his third try for the Oval Office, is building his campaign on a foundation of moderate bipartisan governance and stability.

Howie Hawkins

Hawkins, the Green Party candidate, is a Syracuse, N.Y., resident who has been a political organizer since 1967.

Jo Jorgensen

Jorgensen, the Libertarian candidate, was the party’s vice presidential pick in 1996.

U.S. Senate

Sen. John Cornyn faces the strongest challenger he's seen as he seeks his fourth term in the U.S. Senate. But to win, Hegar would need to break a 26-year Democratic slump in Texas statewide elections.

John Cornyn

Sen. Cornyn, a former Texas attorney general, is a top GOP member and close ally of President Donald Trump. He is seeking his fourth term in the Senate.

Mary Jane "MJ" Hegar

Hegar is a political newcomer looking to parlay her inspirational back story of front-line military daring and feminist advocacy into a landscape-rattling upset.

Kerry McKennon

McKennon is vying to be the state’s first openly gay senator. As an actor, he appeared in the sitcom “Arrested Development” before moving home to Texas.

David B. Collins

Collins, the Green party nominee, wants full reproductive choice for women and families, to make public post-secondary schools free and a moratorium on new fossil fuel infrastructure.

U.S. House District 11

August Pfluger

Pfluger, a former U.S. Air Force fighter pilot and national security adviser to President Donald Trump, would primarily focus on agriculture, defense and the oil and gas industry.

John Mark Hogg

Hogg, a former San Angelo city councilman, hopes to fix a broken Congress.

Wacy Alph Cody

Katja "Kat" Gruene

Texas Railroad Commission

The three-member Texas Railroad Commission regulates the state's oil and gas industry. Wright's upset victory in the GOP primary gives Democrats a rare opportunity to win a seat, political analysts say.

James "Jim" Wright

Wright is a rancher and energy business owner whose oil field waste facility was shut down by the agency in 2017. He is calling for reforms and transparency.

Chrysta Castañeda

Castaneda, a former engineer and current oil and gas lawyer, wants to 'stop the waste and abuse of our precious natural resources.'

Matt Sterett

Sterett runs a data business serving oil and gas companies and wants to cut down on gas flaring and simplify industry regulations.

Katija “Kat” Gruene

Gruene, the Green Party candidate, says she wants to be elected so she can 'stand up against' the leaders of 'toxic' fossil fuel industries.

Texas House

State Representative, District 82

Midland is one of five counties in the district; Crane, Upton, Martin and Dawson are the others.

Tom Craddick

Craddick is seeking another term.The Midland native was first elected in 1968 and is the longest-serving representative in state government.

State Board of Education

There are 15 members of the state Board of Education, which sets policies and standards for Texas public schools, including the curriculum and graduation requirements.

Member State Board of Education, District 15

Jay Johnson

John Betancourt

Texas Supreme Court

Republicans hold all nine seats on the Texas Supreme Court, the state's highest civil court. The Texas GOP has not lost a statewide election since 1994.

Chief Justice, Texas Supreme Court

Nathan Hecht

Chief Justice Hecht has served on the Texas Supreme Court since 1989, the longest tenure for a member of the high court in Texas history.

Amy Clark Meachum

Meachum, an Austin district court judge, wants to be the high court's first female chief justice. She won 80% of the vote in the March primary.

Mark Ash

Ash is a Houston attorney who has been running as a Libertarian for various judicial positions since 2012.

Texas Supreme Court, Place 6

Jane Bland

Bland was appointed by Gov. Abbott to replace Justice Jeff Brown in 2019 after Brown was named a U.S. district judge.

Kathy Cheng

Cheng, an attorney, won the 2018 Democratic nomination for the same seat. She said she hopes to address the court's 'dire need for diversity.'

Texas Supreme Court, Place 7

Jeff Boyd

Boyd has served on the Texas Supreme Court since 2012. He ran unopposed in the Republican primary.

Staci Williams

Williams, first elected in 2014, created the Citizens’ Civil Academy, a free, non-partisan program that educates Dallas County residents about the civil court system.

William Bryan Strange III

Strange wants to see an end to judicial elections in Texas. In 2012, he garnered 22% of the vote in a Court of Criminal Appeals race, surpassing 1 million votes.

Texas Supreme Court, Place 8

Brett Busby

Judge Busby was appointed by Gov. Abbott to fill a vacancy on the Texas Supreme Court in 2019.

Gisela D. Triana

Triana, now a Texas Court of Appeals judge, pledges that she will 'not put special interests ahead of everyday Texans' if elected to the high court.

Tom Oxford

Oxford says the state's high court needs to have more respect for jury verdicts, and has made too many judgments based on opinion.

Texas Court of Criminal Appeals

The state's highest criminal court, the Court of Criminal Appeals, is the proving ground for death penalty appellate cases. All nine judges are Republicans.

Court of Criminal Appeals, Place 3

Bert Richardson

Judge Richardson, elected to the Court of Criminal Appeals in 2014, is a former assistant U.S. attorney who also served in the Bexar County DA's office.

Elizabeth Davis Frizell

Frizell is a former Dallas County Criminal District Court judge who is calling for criminal justice reform.

Court of Criminal Appeals, Place 4

Kevin Patrick Yeary

Judge Yeary, seeking re-election after his first term, is a former prosecutor and defense attorney who once argued cases at the Court of Criminal Appeals

Tina Clinton

Clinton, a Dallas County criminal district court judge with extensive experience on the bench; has served as a prosecutor and defense attorney.

Court of Criminal Appeals, Place 9

David Newell

Judge Newell, a former Fort Bend County prosecutor who is board certified in criminal law and criminal appellate law, seeks his second term on the court.

Brandon Birmingham

Birmingham has worked as a felony prosecutor and cold case unit chief. He's currently a trial judge in the 292nd District Court in Dallas County.


Online Editor

Mercedes Cordero •  • @Mercy_Cordero