Tuesday's election will decide whether Republicans stretch their total dominance of Texas politics past two dozen years or whether anyone on the statewide Democratic ticket led by Beto O'Rourke in the governor's race can finally crack the code that has eluded them since before the dawn of the 21st century.
Analysis of data from early voting and findings from the final round of polling suggest Democrats in Texas are facing a stiff headwind in the first midterm election cycle during Democrat Joe Biden's presidency. All of the statewide Democratic candidates and at least a few of the Republicans are headed into the final weekend of campaigning with full schedules designed to engage with as many voters as possible before 7 p.m. on Election Day.
Voting on Election Day: What you need to know
Most county elections offices have links on their websites to help voters find their polling place. The Texas Secretary of State's Office also maintains a page, https://teamrv-mvp.sos.texas.gov/MVP/mvp.do, that can help find your polling place.
The polls are open from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. on Election Day. However, anyone who is in line at a polling place at 7 p.m. and eligible to cast a ballot must be allowed to vote.
Texas requires voters to present a photo ID before casting their ballot. Here's what forms of ID are acceptable:
Texas driver license issued by the Texas Department of Public Safety
Texas election identification certificate issued by DPS
Texas personal identification card issued by DPS
Texas handgun license issued by DPS
U.S. military identification card containing your photograph
U.S. citizenship certificate containing your photograph
U.S. passport, either a book or a card
If you do not possess and cannot reasonably obtain one of these IDs, you may fill out a declaration at the polls describing a reasonable impediment to obtaining it. Here's what you'll need:
A government document that shows your name and an address, including your voter registration certificate
Current utility bill
Either a certified domestic birth certificate or a document confirming birth admissible in a court of law which establishes your identity. This may include a foreign birth document.
Texas' premier race of the 2022 midterms
The race for Texas governor, as expected, emerged as the most talked-about and the most expensive race of the 2022 midterm election. Republican Greg Abbott, who is seeking a third term, remained laser-focused on the twin issues of border security and illegal immigration all through the spring primary and the general election campaigns.
Abbott, making his seventh run for statewide office and hoping to extend an undefeated record that dates to 1998, is a former state attorney general and a former Texas Supreme Court justice. After easily dispatching seven lesser-known primary challengers, Abbott has made the fall campaign as much about Biden as he has about O'Rourke. He has faulted Biden for inflation and high gasoline prices, and for rolling back nearly all of former President Donald Trump's hardline immigration policies.
O'Rourke, a former three-term congressman from El Paso who catapulted to national fame during his close 2018 race against U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, has made the limiting of assault-style rifles, restoring abortion rights and addressing what he says are Texas' underfunded education and social safety institutions the central themes of his challenge.
The U.S. Supreme Court's overturning of Roe v. Wade in June and the May 24 deadly mass shooting at Uvalde's Robb Middle School elevated both issues over the summer, but polling has consistently shown immigration and the economy as the chief concerns of Texas voters.
Both candidates have proven to be fundraising powerhouses. Abbott, who got a head start on O'Rourke, has raised more than $103 million for his reelection bid and as of Oct. 29 had burned through about $99 million of it on digital and broadcast advertising, campaign staff payroll, logistics and get-out-the-vote efforts. O'Rourke, meanwhile, collected about $76.5 million and had spent all but about $4.3 million heading into the race's final week.
Also on the ballot are Libertarian Mark Tippetts and Delilah Barrios of the Green Party.
Down-ballot statewide candidates in Texas
Like Abbott, nearly every Republican running for a statewide executive branch office is seeking a third four-year term.
Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, in a rematch with accountant and businessman Mike Collier, has focused on his conservative record as the powerful president of the 31-member Texas Senate. Since taking office in 2015, Patrick has steered through legislation limiting — and finally eliminating — abortion rights in Texas, expanding gun rights and keeping a lid on state spending.
Collier, who came within 4 percentage points of besting Patrick in 2018, has sought to present himself as a pragmatic centrist who wants to focus on less ideological issues such as shoring up the state's electricity grid. A former Republican, Collier has also courted former and lame-duck GOP officeholders who have grown weary of Patrick's efforts to target members of the LGBTQ+ community and his use of other wedge issues.
Libertarian Shanna Steele is also running for lieutenant governor.
Attorney General Ken Paxton is challenged by Democratic civil rights lawyer Rochelle Garza. Paxton has made illegal immigration one of his top issues and boasts that he has Trump's endorsement. Garza, who grew up in the border city of Brownsville, has said Paxton is using immigration to score political points but not to address the underlying issues.
The two have clashed over abortion rights. Paxton's office has defended court challenges to Texas' abortion laws while Garza has the endorsement of NARAL Pro-Choice America.
Mark Ash, a Libertarian, is also on the ballot for attorney general.
The race for comptroller has largely played out under the radar screen. Incumbent Republican Glenn Hegar is challenged by Democrat Janet T. Dudding and Libertarian V. Alonzo Echevarria-Garza in his bid to remain the state's chief financial officer.
Land Commissioner George P. Bush opted out of seeking a third term to make an unsuccessful bid for the GOP nomination for attorney general. State Sen. Dawn Buckingham, an Austin-area oculoplastic and reconstructive surgeon, is the Republican nominee. Jay Kleberg, a conservationist and filmmaker who is part of the family that has owned the famous King Ranch in South Texas for generations, is the Democratic nominee.
Alfred Molison is also seeking the office as a member of the Green Party.
On the ballot for the Texas Railroad Commission are incumbent Republican Wayne Christian and Democrat Luke Warford, a political newcomer. Also in the race are Jaime Andres Diez, a Libertarian, and Hunter Wayne Crow of the Green Party.
The commission, which regulates the Texas oil and gas industry, is run by three elected commissioners who serve staggered six-year terms.
Statewide court races
The Texas Supreme Court, which handles appeals in civil litigation, and the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals are nine-member bodies that carry staggered six-year terms. Here's who is running this year.
Texas Supreme Court, Place 3
Debra Lehrmann, Republican (incumbent)
Erin A. Nowell, Democrat
Thomas Edward Oxford, Libertarian
Texas Supreme Court, Place 5
Rebeca Huddle, Republican (incumbent)
Amanda Reichek, Democrat
Texas Supreme Court, Place 9
Evan Young, Republican (incumbent)
Julia Maldonado, Democrat
Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, Place 5
Scott Walker, Republican (incumbent)
Dana Huffman, Democrat
Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, Place 6
Jesse F. McClure, III, Republican (incumbent)
Robert Johnson, Democrat
State Board of Education, District 1
Michael "Travis" Stevens, Republican
Melissa N. Ortega, Democrat
8th Court of Appeals District, Place 2
Jeff Alley, Republican
Lisa Soto, Democrat
El Paso-area races
Here are the El Paso-area contested races.
U.S. House Texas District 16
Irene Armendariz-Jackson, Republican
Veronica Escobar, Democrat (Incumbent)
U.S. House Texas District 23
Tony Gonzales, Republican (Incumbent)
John Lira, Democrat
Frank Lopez, Independent
State Senator, District 29
Derek Zubeldia, Republican
César J. Blanco, Democrat (Incumbent)
Texas House District 74
Katherine Parker, Republican
Eddie Morales, Democrat (Incumbent)
Texas House District 75
Marie E. Gonzalez, Democrat (Incumbent)
Jonathan Mullins, Independent
El Paso County Judge
Ricardo Samaniego, Democrat (Incumbent)
Guadalupe Giner, Republican
County Commissioner, Precinct No. 4
Blanca Trout, Republican
Sergio Coronado, Democrat
El Paso City Council
Representative District 1
Analisa Cordova Silverstein
Freddy Klayel Avalos
Deliris Montanez Berrios
Representative District 5
Isabel Salcido (Incumbent)
Felix J Munoz
Representative District 6
Claudia Lizette Rodriguez
Benjamin J. Leyva
Representative District 8
John C. Moritz covers Texas government and politics for the USA Today Network in Austin. Contact him at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @JohnnieMo. The El Paso Times Julia Lucero contributed to this report.
This article originally appeared on Corpus Christi Caller Times: Nov. 8 is Election Day. Here's what you need to know to cast a ballot.