AUSTIN (KXAN) — Voters will decide on several key propositions in the Nov. 2 election in Texas and in Austin.
There are eight constitutional amendments on the ballot for all Texans, along with two propositions for Austin residents. Polls open at 7 a.m. and close at 7 p.m., but as long as you are in line by 7 p.m., you’ll still be allowed to vote.
What you need to vote
To cast a ballot, you need to bring one of these forms of identification:
- Texas Driver’s License issued by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS)
- Texas Election Identification Certificate (EIC) issued by DPS
- Texas Personal Identification Card issued by DPS
- Texas License to Carry a Handgun (LTC) issued by DPS
- U.S. Military ID Card containing the person’s photograph
- U.S. Citizenship Certificate containing the person’s photograph
- U.S. Passport
Except for the U.S. citizenship certificate, the form of identification you use must be current or have expired no more than four years before being presented at the polls.
If you don’t have any of these to use for identification, you can (1) sign a sworn statement explaining why you don’t have those IDs and (2) bring one of the following:
- Valid voter registration certificate
- Certified birth certificate
- Current utility bill
- Government check
- Pay stub or bank statement that includes your name and address
- Copy of or original government document with your name and an address (original required if it contains a photograph).
According to the Texas Secretary of State website, you can request a mail-in ballot if you meet one of the criteria:
- Be 65 years old or older
- Be sick or disabled
- Be out of the country on Election Day or during early voting
- Be confined in jail but still eligible to vote
You can request an application for a mail-in ballot online here or print out the form. Once you fill out the form, you must mail it to the early voting clerk in your county. Their address would be the same as your county’s election office. The early voting clerk would be the elections administrator or county clerk.
You may also hand-deliver your ballot to a designated drop-off location if your county allows it.
County elections offices
Below are links to each county elections website in the KXAN coverage area. Each will have information including phone numbers, polling locations and addresses. You can also check wait times at polling locations.
What’s on the ballot?
State Constitutional Amendments
In order to make changes to the Texas Constitution, amendments must be voted in by a two-thirds majority in the state House and Senate and then be approved by voters.
Proposition 1 — If approved, professional sports team charitable foundations of organizations will be allowed to conduct charitable raffles at rodeo venues.
Proposition 2 — This would authorize counties to issue bonds to finance the development or redevelopment of transportation or infrastructure in underdeveloped areas.
Proposition 3 — This would prohibit government entities and institutions from enacting rules that would prohibit or limit religious services of religious organizations. This was passed by state policymakers as a response to some communities shutting churches down to avoid crowds gathering during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Proposition 4 — This is a judiciary-related measure that would update the eligibility requirement for Texas Supreme Court justices, a judge of the court of criminal appeals, a justice of a court of appeals and a district judge. Candidates for those judicial seats would need to be Texas residents and U.S. citizens. Candidates for state supreme court, Texas Court of Criminal Appeals or an appeals court would need 10 years of experience as a practicing lawyer or judge of a state or county court and candidates for district court would need eight years of experience. Candidates whose license to practice law was revoked or suspended would be disqualified from office. These rules would apply to appointed or elected officials who assume their role after Jan. 1, 2025.
Proposition 5 — This is a judiciary-related measure that would authorize the Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct to investigate complaints against candidates running for state judicial office, just as it can do for current judicial officeholders.
Proposition 6 — This would establish a right for people living in nursing homes or residents of assisted living facilities to designate an essential caregiver who cannot be barred from visiting in person.
Proposition 7 — This would allow the state to extend a homestead limitation on school district ad valorem taxes for surviving spouses of disabled individuals if the spouse is 55.
Proposition 8 — This would allow homestead tax exemption for surviving spouses of military members killed or fatally injured in the line of duty will also appear on the ballot. The constitution currently allows the exemption for spouses of members of the armed forces who are killed in action, but the expanded language would incorporate military members who die in military training or other military duties.
Proposition A — This would increase Austin police staffing to a minimum of at two officers per 1,000 people, double the amount of yearly trainings for officers, increase minority hiring through provisions and require 35% of officers’ shifts are spent through community policing. Funding would cost Austin anywhere from $271.5 million and $598.8 million over the next five years, according to Austin’s Chief Financial Officer Ed Van Eenoo.
Proposition B — Prop B would allow the city trade about nine acres of parkland on South Lakeshore Boulevard in exchange for 48 acres of waterfront land and a new maintenance facility paid for or built by the new bidder. Oracle America is said to be the expected bidder. The parkland in question is the site of the Central Maintenance Complex for the Austin Parks and Recreation Department.
Proposition A — The city is asking voters to approve roughly $73.5 million just for one proposition — transportation projects. Many of them set out to make roads safer and more pedestrian and bike-friendly.
There are several roads that would be reconstructed under Proposition A.
The City of Buda is also asking voters to approve another $16 million for parks and recreation projects.
Proposition J — This local option will allow liquor sales in an area annexed by the city in 2017. It has been 2010 since the last local option was passed, so a new one must be approved in order for liquor sales to begin.
The area annexed in 2017 is a new development called the Wolf Lakes Village. It will be home to hotels, restaurants, movie theaters and grocery stores.
GISD Bond — Georgetown Independent School District voters will decide whether to approve a $381 million bond package.
The bond is the largest the district has issued yet. In 2018, voters approved a $150.5 million bond package and a $160.6 million bond in 2015. The 2021 bond also follows a three-year cycle.
Leander Independent School District is asking voters to approve its largest bond ever issued.
The bond is made up of three propositions and seeks to address the growth of 12,000 students over the next decade.
It also includes updating existing campuses to keep up with the pace of those that are newly constructed.
The $772.2M bond includes new school construction, technology updates and upgrades to aging schools.
- Proposition A includes $727.2 million worth of new construction, renovation, and equipment replacement projects.
- Proposition B includes $33.3 million to replace existing technology devices, including student and staff laptops, over the next three years.
- Proposition C includes $11.7 million in renovation and lighting/sound upgrades to our high school and district performing arts centers.
West Lake Hills
Three propositions are on the ballot that will increase taxes to help repair roads and make improvements related to flooding.
Proposition A would allow West Lake Hills to issue bonds (debt) not to exceed $11.8 million. The money would go toward six major roadway and drainage projects, including raising Camp Craft Road by several feet to keep it from flooding at the Eanes Creek low water crossings that lead to Westlake High School.
Other projects are proposed along Redbud Trail, Westlake Drive, Laurel Valley Road, Yaupon Valley Road and Terrace Mountain Drive. All were developed by city engineers utilizing the 2017 city-wide drainage study.
Proposition B is a companion to Proposition A which would issue bonds to pay for a new $13.2 million city hall and police building. For a home valued at the median $1.5 million in the area, the city estimates the owner could pay an extra $390 to $850 per year, depending on which propositions pass.
Proposition C would reverse a sales tax diversion plan that came about in the mid-1990s. Currently, every 1/2 cent collected in city sales tax is put toward property tax relief. Proposition C would undo that and instead put the 1/2 cent in a dedicated fund for ongoing street maintenance projects, similar to what is done in neighboring cities like Rollingwood.