Constitutional Amendments, METRO bonds, HISD, MUDs
HARRIS COUNTY – Monday Oct. 21 is the first day of Early Voting in the General Election. East Harris County area residents will vote on 10 constitutional amendments, METRO’s MetroNext bond issue in some areas, Baytown councilmen, and Newport MUD bonds, . Early voting continues through November 1, and you may vote this year at any election location. The General Election is scheduled for November 5.
METRO BOND ISSUE
Proposition A on the ballot would authorize a $3.5 billion bond issue, to be used for METRO street improvements, mobility projects, and other facilities. Funds for this work would come from the existing Sales Tax, and there would not be any additional taxes required. Projects included in this proposal are a new MetroRapid Bus System, more HOV lanes, and extension of the MetroRail system.
Texans will vote on 10 new Constitutional Amendments on November 5th. The issues addressed include a state income tax, creating a flood infrastructure fund, and funding for the Cancer Research and Prevention Institute of Texas. The League of Women Voters of Texas (LWVTX) conducts research on each amendment to provide fair and unbiased information to Texas voters.
“The Texas Constitution is among the longest in the country. Since it was adopted in 1876, 498 amendments have been approved by Texas voters. You decide which of the 10 proposed amendments will become part of the Texas Constitution,” says LWVTX president Grace Chimene.
The League’s Voters Guide is available online on the LWVTX website and Texas voters can review their ballot, make choices, and print out their choices from VOTE411.org. The printed Voters Guide can be found at many Texas public libraries. Texas voters may take the printed Voters Guide, their VOTE411.org printed list, or their own notes into the polling booth. They may not use their phone in the polling place.
Amendments to consider in this election:
— Proposition 1 would amend the Texas Constitution to allow a municipal judge to be elected in more than one jurisdiction.
— Proposition 2 (SJR 79) would allow the Water Development Board to issue general obligation bonds for the Economically Distressed Areas Program (EDAP). The outstanding bonds could not exceed $200 million. The bonds would be used to develop water supply and sewer projects in economically depressed areas of the state. The EDAP assists water infrastructure projects when the median income of a region is less than 75% of the state’s median income.
— Proposition 3 would allow the Texas Legislature to give a temporary property tax exemption in a disaster area.
— Proposition 4 would prohibit the Texas Legislature from establishing a personal state income tax.
— Proposition 5 would require the Legislature to allocate sales tax revenue from sporting goods sales to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and the Texas Historical Commission.
— Proposition 6 would authorize the Legislature to double the maximum bond amount for the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas to $6 billion.
— Proposition 7 would double the amount of money that the General Land Office could distribute to the Available School Fund to $600 million.
— Proposition 8 would create a Flood Infrastructure Fund to assist in financing drainage, flood mitigation, and flood control products.
— Proposition 9 would authorize the legislature to exempt precious metals held in a Texan precious metal depository to be exempted from property taxes.
— Proposition 10 would allow the transfer of a law enforcement animal to a qualified caretaker in certain circumstances.
CITY OF HOUSTON
For those residents that live in the City of Houston, there will also be an election of a Mayor, from a field of 12 candidates. The incumbent, Sylvester Turner, is running for re-election. Some of the well-known challengers are Bill King, Tony Buzbee, and Dwight Boykins.
The position of City Controller is also open, with incumbent Chris Brown vs. Orlando Sanchez.
City Council will vote on and elect 16 new members, some representing districts and some at-large.
City residents will also find four HISD trustee positions up for election, and Houston Community College will elect three trustees.
A number of MUD districts, not in this area, are holding bond referendums and directors elections.
IMPORTANT DATES FOR THE NOVEMBER 5TH ELECTION
Last Day to Register to Vote for 11/5 Election: October 7
Early Voting: October 21 to November 1
Last Day to Request Vote by Mail Ballot: October 25
Vote by Mail Deadline: Must be received by November 5 at 7pm
Election Day: Nov. 5
VOTER ID INFORMATION
In Texas, you are required to bring a valid form of ID with you to the polls. There are 7 forms of ID you can use: a Driver’s License, a US passport, a US military photo ID, a Texas Personal Identification card, a photo US citizenship certificate, or a Texas Election Identification Certificate. If you do not have a photo ID or cannot reasonably obtain one, you may still vote upon signing a form and presenting an original copy of your Voter Registration Card, certified birth certificate, current utility bill, bank statement, government check, or paycheck with your name and address on it.
For help on registering to vote, checking your registration status, or finding what’s on your ballot, visit VOTE411.org or our voting webpage.