BROWNSVILLE — The first significant deadline of the 2018 March primary is fast approaching.
Cameron County residents have until Feb. 5 to register to vote in the primary election.
“So people need to be mindful of that time,” Cameron County Elections Administrator Remi Garza said.
The primary ballot is packed this year, from the Texas gubernatorial race to state representatives to a flurry of activity on the local level with numerous candidates running for a variety of county seats, including two spots on Cameron County Commissioners Court.
Those wishing to vote in the March primary must register to vote. They can do so by calling or visiting the Elections office or by downloading a form off of the department’s website and mailing it in.
The form is also readily available at area tax offices and with the county clerk.
“They’re widely distributed,” Garza said. “It’s important to remember that you have to sign it and mail it to us.”
Early voting then starts on Feb. 20 and continues through March 2.
“And, also, we want to remind people that the deadline for submitting an application to vote by mail is due February 23,” Garza said.
There are two reasons why voting early is a bonus for voters, Garza said.
“It gives you the opportunity to vote anywhere in the county,” Garza said. “On Election Day you have to go to your precinct.”
Secondly, voting early is a valuable decision-making tool for the civic-minded voter.
“Since there are fewer people voting at any given time you’ll have a chance to review the ballot,” Garza said. “It gives you more time to go through it as opposed to Election Day where you might feel more pressured because there are more people at the polling location.”
He anticipates releasing a sample ballot online Tuesday morning.
“We’re finalizing the ballot as we speak. Hopefully, tomorrow (Tuesday) morning we’ll have it online,” Garza said.
Historically, mid-term elections do not draw the kind of voter turnout as a presidential election, but Garza is hopeful that plenty of Cameron County residents will show up at the polls during the primary and November general election.
REGISTERING TO VOTE
You can register at the Cameron County Elections Office or print out an application online.
WHERE: 1050 E. Madison St., Brownsville
DEADLINE TO REGISTER: Feb. 5
VOTING STARTS: Feb. 20 (early voting), March 2 (primary election)