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2019 Election Guide
While many are already focusing on larger elections next year, there is still an election being held next month, too. Some of these elections can have just as much of an impact on your daily lives in Texas as the bigger, national election results, so it’s important to be informed and make your voice heard! We’ve reviewed the information and put together a simple, non-partisan voting guide to help you understand the issues on this year’s ballot, along with some basic information.
Early Voting: October 21 through November 1, 2019
Election Day: November 5, 2019
The deadline to register to vote in this election has unfortunately passed. If you registered prior to this October 7th, however, you’re likely eligible to vote, as long as you have not moved from one county to another. You can check your voter status online here.
View a Sample Ballot here.
Remember that you must bring an approved form of identification to your polling place. This could be any official government ID like a driver’s license, passport, military ID, or election ID certificate.
There are 10 state constitutional amendments on the Texas ballot this year. Voters will vote either for against each. Here are the propositions as they’re worded on the ballots, a break-down of what each means, and the actual bill number, along with a link to the full bill if you’d like to read up on it further.
Proposition 1- “The constitutional amendment permitting a person to hold more than one office as a municipal judge at the same time.”
This amendment is pretty straight-forward. It would allow elected municipal judges to serve in more than one municipality at a time, something appointed municipal judges can currently do.
Proposition 2- “The constitutional amendment providing for the issuance of additional general obligation bonds by the Texas Water Development Board in an amount not to exceed $200 million to provide financial assistance for the development of certain projects in economically distressed areas.”
This proposal would authorize the Texas Water Development Board to issue bonds up to $200 million in order to finance water supply and sewer projects in areas that meet the state’s definition of economically distressed.
Proposition 3- “The constitutional amendment authorizing the legislature to provide for a temporary exemption from ad valorem taxation of a portion of the appraised value of certain property damaged by a disaster.”
This amendment would allow temporary exemptions from ad valorem property taxes for homes within a governor declared disaster area. In addition, the legislature would be allowed to determine how much and how long the tax exemptions would be in place, as well as eligibility criteria.
Proposition 4- “The constitutional amendment prohibiting the imposition of an individual income tax, including a tax on an individual’s share of partnership and unincorporated association income.”
This amendment prohibits the state from collecting or imposing individual income tax, which includes income from partnership or unincorporated association shares. There is no state income tax as of now, and a state-wide vote would be required to impose one, but there is currently no amendment explicitly prohibiting this type of tax.
Proposition 5- “The constitutional amendment dedicating the revenue received from the existing state sales and use taxes that are imposed on sporting goods to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and the Texas Historical Commission to protect Texas’ natural areas, water quality, and history by acquiring, managing, and improving state and local parks and historic sites while not increasing the rate of the state sales and use taxes.”
The amendment impacts the net revenue from sales taxes on sporting goods, appropriating it automatically for use by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and Texas Historical Commission, for the stated purposes. It changes the way the funds are used, but does not increase the tax amount on these items.
Proposition 6- “The constitutional amendment authorizing the legislature to increase by $3 billion the maximum bond amount authorized for the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas.”
This is another fairly straight-forward amendment that will double the maximum bond amount for the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas, issued by the Texas Public Finance Authority, used for grants to pay for cancer research and prevention.
Proposition 7- “The constitutional amendment allowing increased distributions to the available school fund.”
This is another amendment proposing to double distributions to a specific fund. This school fund would be managed by the State Board of Education, the General Land Office, and other similar entities, with similar revenue or property responsibilities.
Proposition 8- “The constitutional amendment providing for the creation of the flood infrastructure fund to assist in the financing of drainage, flood mitigation, and flood control projects.”
This amendment would allow for the creation of a flood infrastructure fund in the state treasury, with money coming from the existing economic stabilization fund. This money would be authorized for use by the Texas Water Development Board for drainage, flood mitigation, and flood control projects.
Proposition 9- “The constitutional amendment authorizing the legislature to exempt from ad valorem taxation precious metal held in a precious metal depository located in this state.”
Another straight-forward amendment. This one allows the legislature to create property tax exemptions for precious metal depositories within Texas that are holding precious metals.
Proposition 10- “The constitutional amendment to allow the transfer of a law enforcement animal to a qualified caretaker in certain circumstances.”
Law enforcement animals are currently considered public property, and current laws prohibit the transfer of public property to private citizens at no cost. This amendment would authorize agencies to transfer law enforcement animals to their handlers or other caretakers that meet certain criteria, upon the animal’s retirement from service, without a cost, considering the animal’s best interests.
In addition to the above amendments, Dallas County voters will have a special election on their ballots to fill a vacant seat in the Texas House of Representatives District 100. There will be 5 candidates to choose from: James Armstrong III, Lorraine Birabil, Daniel Davis Clayton, Sandra Crenshaw, and Paul K. Stafford, all candidates of the Democratc party.
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