Mail-in voter registration deadlines coming up in 21 states

By: Douglas Kronaizl

Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:

  1. Mail-in voter registration deadlines coming up in 21 states
  2. Election spotlight—Texas Attorney General Republican primary runoff
  3. #FridayTrivia: What percentage of Americans live in a Solid Democratic or Republican county?

Mail-in voter registration deadlines coming up in 21 states

Voters in 21 states and the District of Columbia have mail-in voter registration deadlines coming up to participate in their primary or primary runoff elections. In three states—Idaho, Nebraska, and North Carolina—those registration deadlines are today, April 22.

These are mail-in registration deadlines, meaning the last day a voter can submit a registration form by mail in time to participate in the primary. Some states require election officials to receive the form by the deadline. In other states, the form can be placed in the mail by the deadline and received later.

In addition to mail-in registration deadlines, states might allow voters to register online or in person with a different deadline. Seven of the states with upcoming mail-in registration deadlines—California, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Nevada, and New Mexico—also allow voters to register in person on Election Days coming up over the next month.

Mail-in voter registration deadlines have already passed in four states: Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, and West Virginia. Texas’ primary elections took place on March 3, but voters can still register to participate in the upcoming primary runoffs regardless of whether they voted in the primary.

Ballotpedia tracks and compiles voting and voter registration information for all 50 states. Click here and use the drop-down menu on the right side to find yours!

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Election spotlight—Texas Attorney General Republican primary runoff

Twelve states are holding primaries in May. One state—Texas—already held its primaries last March but has a series of runoff elections scheduled for next month. In certain states, like Texas, if no candidate wins a majority vote in the primary, the top two vote-getters advance to a later runoff. Let’s take a closer look at one of those battleground runoffs we are tracking this year.

Incumbent Ken Paxton (R) and Land Commissioner George P. Bush (R) are running in the Republican primary runoff for Texas Attorney General on May 24. The two advanced to the runoff after placing first and second, respectively, in a four-way primary on March 1. Paxton received 43% of the vote, followed by Bush with 22%.

Bush has focused on border security, support for law enforcement, and criminal misconduct allegations against Paxton, saying, “Texans deserve a top advocate that’s above reproach, not under indictment, focused on the job, going to defend our state against federal overreach.”

In 2015, Paxton was indicted on three counts of securities fraud violations in a case that remains open with no trial scheduled. In 2020, the FBI opened an investigation into claims that Paxton used the Office of Attorney General to benefit a political donor.

Paxton has denied wrongdoing in both cases and has focused his campaign on his record as attorney general. Former President Donald Trump (R) endorsed Paxton in June 2021. Paxton said, “I stand by my record and values, and ask each voter to join President Trump in standing with me for a safer and stronger Texas.” 

A former state Senator, Paxton was first elected attorney general in 2014 and re-elected in 2018. Bush, a nephew and grandson of former Presidents George W. Bush (R) and George H.W. Bush (R), was first elected to statewide office as Texas Land Commissioner in 2014 and re-elected in 2018.

Texas has had a Republican attorney general since the election of John Cornyn in 1998. At four percentage points, Paxton’s re-election in 2018 was the narrowest margin of victory for the office since that time.

The runoff winner will face either Rochelle Garza (D) or Joe Jaworski (D) in the general election, both of whom are running in a Democratic primary runoff on the same day.

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#FridayTrivia: What percentage of Americans live in a Solid Democratic or Republican county?

Earlier this week, we shared our research of county-level presidential election voting patterns from 2012 to 2020. As part of that research, we developed several categories to describe these counties. Solid Democratic and Republican counties, for example, are those that have voted for the same party in the past three presidential elections.

What percentage of Americans live in a Solid Democratic or Republican county?

  1. 36%
  2. 52%
  3. 68%
  4. 87%