Early voting begins in only 11 days, and Election day is in t-minus 26 days. It’s time for each of us to play our part in making a better tomorrow.
Voting in the midterm elections is just as crucial as voting during Presidential elections. Positions like District Attorney, County Judge or Attorney General all have major impacts on your daily life as a Texan.These lesser known offices affect a broad range of topics including criminal justice, healthcare, education, and social justice, as well as funding services that benefit your community.
In an effort to fill in any gaps in voter knowledge, we’ve compiled a short list that sums up the responsibilities of various offices. This list is not comprehensive but it is certainly a good starting place, and we encourage all voters to do further research! Vote411.org is a fantastic resource for anyone looking for more information about what to expect on the upcoming ballot.
Local Offices – State Offices
School BoardTerm varies
Adopts policies for teachers, students, and staff at each school. Hire and monitor superintendent for the district.
Set goals and priorities for the district, ensure progress and accountability to goals by allocating resources and support providing feedback.
For more information visit our webpage.
City Council Members2 yr. term
Responsible for managing the municipal budget, establishing local tax rates, passing ordinances and resolutions.
Communicate directly with constituents to resolve public matters.
City Clerk2 yr. term
Manages city council meetings through pre-meeting preparation, facilitating meetings, and publicizing council events.
Maintains and updates documentation of all public records for the city including sample budget, agendas, ordinances etc. and personal documents for each citizen.
Justice of the Peace4 yr. term
Responsible for overseeing civil matters such as landlord/tenant disputes, and misdemeanor hearings.
Performs marriages, magistrate duties, and handles inquiries to county coroner / medical examiner concerning the death of citizens in the district at the request of the district attorney.
District Attorney4 yr. term
Determines which kinds of cases are priorities for prosecution. For example, some District Attorneys in Texas have promised not to prosecute abortion cases despite new state laws.
Represents the state in felony cases, ranging from state jail to capital offenses.
County Judge4 yr. term
Key official responsible for emergency management and county welfare.
Oversees commissioner court which makes policy decisions for the county, exercises judicial power in certain criminal, civil, and probate matters.
Has some of the most wide reaching responsibilities of any local elected official.
County Commissioner4 yr. term
Responsible for building and maintaining county roads, making broad public policies for the county, adopting county budget and tax rate, and building and maintaining county buildings.
Railroad Commissioner6 yr. Term
Regulates oil and gas industry in the state, including utilities and safety regulations.
Generally responsible for regulating all of the state’s energy industries.
Agriculture Commissioner4 yr. term
Responsible for enforcing the agricultural laws passed in the state. This includes laws having to do with quality of goods and transportation.
Attorney General4 yr. term
Responsible for representing the state of Texas in legal matters, such as lawsuits against the state.
Investigates crimes such as human trafficking and apprehension of fugitives (essentially crimes which may involve multiple states, or require a broader jurisdiction).
Provides legal counsel and assistance to other state agencies.
State Board of Education4 yr. term
Sets policies that affect all Texas public schools.
This includes graduation requirements, curriculum standards, and use of the Texas Permanent School Fund that helps fund every public school. For more information visit our webpage.
Comptroller4 yr. term
Responsible for collection of state taxes and fees, as well as acting as the chief financial officer for the state.
Invests and manages a portion of the state assets, responsible for payment of state bills and employees.
Manages statewide contracts on behalf of state agencies.
Lieutenant Governor4 yr. term
Presides over the Texas Senate, often considered the most powerful elected statewide office because of the limitations placed on the Governor through the Texas Constitution. For example, the Liet. Governor controls which Senate bills are taken up for consideration.
Liet. Governor is responsible for setting the agenda of the Senate, and serving on the Legislative Budget Board and Redistricting Board which have major political impacts on the state.
Governor4 yr. term
Chief executive officer of the state, responsible for making legislative recommendations on policy and budget.
Responsible for signing and vetoing bills, and setting emergency items which must be the focus of the legislative session for the first 60 days of session.
Responsible for calling special sessions.
Appoints state officials such as the Commissioner of Education, members of the Statewide Health Coordinating Council, and state judges/justices if vacancies open leaving a term unfinished.
No matter what issues matter to you, be it statewide topics—like new state laws, standards for all Texas public schools, and regulation of the agricultural and energy industries—or local issues—like city ordinances, community resources funded by local tax dollars, and the kinds of crimes prosecuted in your community—voting in the races listed above is a great way to make change in the ways that matter the most to you. Understanding the duties of each elected office can seem overwhelming and research intensive, but having a basic understanding of each office will help you to make a more informed vote about who you want to represent you!
We hope this information is helpful and makes the process just a little simpler. Happy voting Texans!