Important Information about the Electoral Process in Texas

The Harris County Clerk’s office has the responsibility of carrying out its statutory functions outlined at both the federal and state level under the United States Constitution, the United States Code, and the Texas Election Code. In the State of Texas, the voter registration and election administration responsibilities are normally separated between the Tax Collector/Voter Registrar and the County Clerk. All voter registration responsibilities are carried out by the Harris County Tax Collector and if you would like, you may visit their office website at www.hcvoter.com.

Remember, to be eligible to vote during an election, you must register to vote at least thirty (30) days before an election.

The County Clerk has ultimate responsibility for ensuring the free exercise of democracy in Harris County by executing the following functions associated with elections:

  • Establishing the number of early voting locations in Harris County and schedule of voting hours (subject to approval by Commissioners Court);
  • Securing all polling locations for use by voters on Election Day (subject to approval by Commissioners Court);
  • Accepting requests for ballots to be sent by mail and processing all returned ballots for tabulation;
  • Storing official campaign disclosure forms for local candidates;
  • Archiving all official election results and voter histories for Harris County and reporting this information to the Secretary of State for district, statewide, and federal offices;
  • Provide training to all Presiding and Alternate Election Judges to ensure the proper execution of state and federal election law during each county/federal election;

Harris County is the third largest county in the United States and possesses a large number of local taxing entities such as independent school districts, municipal utility districts, emergency services district, etc. Often these entities take advantage of the expertise provided by the Harris County Clerk and the elections department staff by contracting for election services. These contracts normally provide for the rental of Harris County equipment while each individual entity remains responsible for establishing their early voting locations, schedules, and Election Day polling locations. Prior to these elections, each respective entity should be contacted directly for further information on candidate qualifying and other general information pertaining to their upcoming elections.

From year to year, Harris County and Texas residents can routinely expect elections to fall on a Uniform Election Dates. Some exceptions are permitted to these dates, but these election dates are the ones to watch and plan for annually. Below is a listing of those election dates that may occur each year:

2nd Saturday in May*- Election for local political subdivisions;
1st Tuesday after the 1st Monday in November- Election for local political subdivisions;