In October, early voters lined up at University Park United Methodist Church. Photo by Bret Redman.

Local News

Did You Know There Is an Election Happening? Here Is What’s on the Ballot

Nobody is up for election, but there are eight changes to the state constitution that voters are being asked to weigh in on. And very few have done it so far.

The polls are open for early voting ahead of the November 2 election, which asks voters to weigh in on changing eight laws in the bulbous state constitution. As of Monday afternoon, just 10,581 people have cast a ballot. For context, there are 1,382,054 registered voters in Dallas County, which brings our turnout to a pretty rough .76 percent.

These are always low-turnout affairs—no candidate is up for reelection—which makes approval likely. As Texas Monthly rightly noted, these are all mostly “niche interests,” even some that stand to benefit the families of military members who die during the course of their service. Find your polling place here, and remember, you can vote anywhere in Dallas County. Not just your precinct. I bet it will take you less than one minute to cast your ballot.

Here is a rundown on what you’re being asked to vote on:

The odd, narrow one:

Proposition 1: This would allow professional rodeos to hold charity raffles like pro sports teams.

The ones for military families:

Proposition 7: Allows a surviving, disabled spouse of a military member to continue to receive a homestead exemption so long as they’re older than 55.

Proposition 8: A surviving spouse of a military member will be allowed to take advantage of tax exemptions if their partner was killed during their service.

The ones reacting to pandemic control measures: 

Proposition 3: Blocks any government agency from ever prohibiting or limiting attendance of religious services.

Proposition 6: Gives family members of individuals in long-term care centers or nursing homes the right to an “essential caregiver” who must be allowed to visit said family member no matter what.

The one addressing infrastructure:

Proposition 2: Cities can issue bonds to pay for infrastructure improvements, but counties can’t. This would change that, aimed at giving counties more flexibility to address “unproductive, underdeveloped, or blighted areas in the county.”

The ones for the judiciary:

Proposition 4: This would increase the credentials required for judicial candidates. Texas residents would have to carry a license to practice law and do so for at least eight years before the election.

Proposition 5: Currently, the State Commission on Judicial Conduct can only investigate or punish office-holders. This extends its power to candidates for the Texas Supreme Court, the Court of Criminal Appeals, a justice of a Court of Appeals, and district judges.

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