AUSTIN (KXAN) — On your ballot this election, two measures that could change what happens after a complaint is filed against a police officer. One is back by community advocates, the other by the police union.
Early voting started Monday. The election is Sat., May 6.
Despite controversy surrounding the competing — and some say misleading or even illegal — propositions, voter turnout is expected to be low.
“We are expecting overall around 5-7% voter turnout in this election. So a pretty small turnout relative to our presidential, gubernatorial elections,” said Dyana Limon-Mercado, Travis County Clerk.
Some Austin city council members want to examine how we do elections like these so more people can be involved. That process is already underway.
Earlier this year, council voted to create a group of residents to look at the city’s official election rules. It’s called the charter review commission. Members are being selected for that commission now.
Once they get started, Council Member Ryan Alter wants them to take a look at how many signatures it should take to get a petition on the ballot, or moving elections like this one to overlap with busier elections.
“If we do have our charter elections that are changing our fundamental document, it’s great to get those when we have the most people showing up. And we know that’s during our presidential elections in November or our gubernatorial elections in the off years,” Alter said.
Alter said not only could that shift give more Austinites a say on important charter changes, like the future of police oversight, but it would also save the city money.
A spokesperson for the City of Austin said while the total could change, the city predicts this May election will cost them $1.3 million.
The commission is expected to bring back suggestions to the council by the end of 2023.