AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Voters for Oversight and Police Accountability (VOPA), a group supported by the Austin Police Association (APA), has submitted a petition with 34,000 signatures to the city clerk for review.
Twenty-thousand valid signatures are needed for a petition to get on the ballot. The group’s goal is to get the measure onto the ballot for the May 2023 election.
VOPA’s petition is called the “Austin Police Oversight Act.”
There’s already an initiative that will be on the May 2023 ballot under the same name, backed by advocacy group Equity Action.
Equity Action has criticized VOPA’s petition, claiming some canvassers originally lied about working for Equity Action.
Both measures have to do with police oversight but propose different ideas.
Equity Action claims VOPA’s petition weakens the notion of police oversight. VOPA claims there are likely certain aspects of the Equity Action petition that would contradict state law.
You can read the Equity Action petition here.
The VOPA petition is below.
A city of Austin spokesperson confirmed that the clerk’s office also received a number of forms from voters requesting to withdraw their name from VOPA’s petition.
In order for VOPA’s measure to get on the ballot, the clerk’s office has to verify the signatures by Jan. 19. Regarding the timeline of processing the petition, a city spokesperson said “it is too soon to tell how long it will take to process this petition considering the Holiday and staff being scheduled for vacation; coordinating the Inauguration; onboarding of new Mayor and Council elects; and limited resources.”