The Texas Secretary of State’s Office has released the following important dates voters should know as the March 2 primary election approaches.

A major deadline hits Monday, Feb. 1, which is the last day to register to vote in the election.

Additional important election dates:

• Early voting period is Feb. 16-26

• Deadline to apply for a ballot by mail must be received by Feb. 23, 2010

• Primary election date is March 2, 2010

Texas has 13 million registered voters.

To be eligible in Texas, you must:

• be a U.S. citizen

• be a resident of the county

• be 18 years old (you may register at 17 years and 10 months)

• not be a convicted felon (unless a person’s sentence is completed, included any probation or parole)

• not be declared mentally incapacitated by a court of law

“Voting is an important part of being a Texan and my office is committed to ensuring that every eligible voter understands their rights and can have confidence in the integrity of our elections process. I hope that my fellow Texans will join me in participating in this great democratic process,” said Texas Secretary of State Hope Andrade.

For voting questions, contact the Office of the Texas Secretary of State at 1-800-252-VOTE (8683) or visit www.votexas.org.