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Types of Elections in Texas

Info: 694 words (3 pages) Essay
Published: 18th Sep 2017 in Politics

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Michael Dean

Jalal Nejad, Ph.D.

The election process is a staple of American politics, though on the national level it only applies to the Presidency and Congressional elections. In Texas though, citizen vote for all three branches of states government offices. There are three main types of elections in Texas, the primary election, general election, and special elections.

The primary elections are held on the second Tuesday in March of even-numbered years (Champagne Harpham 135). They are the first step in the electoral cycle, the primaries are used to determine the political parties’ candidate for the general election. There are three other types of primaries which are the runoff, open, and closed. The runoff primary is when a no candidate wins by majority. When a runoff primary happens if a Democrat voted in the regular primary they cannot in the Republican runoff primary, if there is one. The same goes for Republicans trying to vote in a Democratic runoff. An open primary is where a registered voter can vote for either party, it doesn’t matter their affiliation. However, they cannot vote in both primaries. The last type is a closed primary in which one must vote for their registered party. This works by having the voter declare their party before voting. Though voters need to declare their affiliations before voting, it does not bind them to voting for that specific party in future elections.

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The next type of election is the general election. The general election is held the first Tuesday following the first Monday in November of even-number years (Champagne Harpham 136). During the general election the main candidate of both parties run against each other for certain offices. The major officials such as governor and attorney general are elected during years that the presidential election is not occurring. Though most of the time it is the main two parties, Republican and Democrat, sometimes third part or independent candidate run as well. Other elections for smaller offices such as school boards, city councils, and local positions are held usually in the beginning of November (Champagne Harpham 136).

The last type of major election is special elections. Special elections are used to fill empty official positions, approval of borrowing large sums of money, and amending the Texas Constitution (Champagne Harpham 136). The specific dates for these elections are made by the legislature of Texas. An example of this would be if a Texas Congressman resigns or gets fired, the governor would have to call a special election to fill the void left by their resignation. Another example would be if the Texas legislature wanted to amend the Texas Constitution they would first have to propose the amendment, the voters would have a special election to actually ratify it into the Constitution.

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To summarize there are three main types of elections in Texas. There is the primary election where nominees of each party go against each other to see who will represent the party in the general election. The primary elections are held on the second Tuesday in March of even-numbered years. The next type of election would be the general election. In the general election the nominees of the Democratic and Republic parties face off to see who will gain the specific office they are going for. Though the general election focuses on the two main parties, there are usually third party or independent candidates running against them as well. The general elections for major offices are held the first Tuesday following the first Monday in November of even-number years, where the minor offices get elected earlier in November. The last type of election is the special election, these kinds of election take place when there is a vacancy in office, a large loan needs to be taken, or an amendment to the Texas Constitution is proposed.

Work Cited

Champagne, Anthony, and Edward J. Harpham. Governing Texas:. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2013. Print.

 

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