Nine propositions to be considered on Texas ballot

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Early voting started Monday for the Nov. 5 general election that will feature nine propositions to be decided on by Texas voters as potential constitutional amendments as well as a potential Walker County option.

The proposition that could impact Texas is Proposition 6 which looks to invest $2 billion into water plan projects to maintain Texas’ water supply in the years to come.

Political science professor Robert Biles, Ph.D., spoke to the Houstonian about the Proposition 6.

“The state has a ‘rainy day’ fund that’s set aside to take care of short falls because the state has to appropriate money for a two year-period,” Biles said. “You’re talking about spending billions of dollars. It will have a major impact on where people will live, where businesses can be – various water needs from animals to people is essentially what it’s about.”

The nine proposed propositions on this year’s ballot, which if approved would be made amendments to the Texas Constitution, also include possible tax exemptions for veterans and the families of fallen U.S. armed service men and woman, other possible tax exemptions and authorization of home-rule municipalities to appoint a vacancy for which the unexpired term is 12 months or less.

Two of the propositions would vote to repeal amendments made to the Constitution in 1952 and 1960 for which the necessity, it is argued, no longer exists. Proposition 9 would increase the ability of the State Commission on Judicial Conduct to issue sanctions for the purpose of judicial oversight.

The final proposed amendment would allow Texans 62 or older to use reverse mortgages loan to purchase a normal homestead property by redefining the legal definition of reverse mortgage. Details of the nine propositions are available on the Walker County online website.

There will also be a proposed option for Justice Precinct 2 of Walker County for the purpose of “The legal sale of all alcoholic beverages including mixed beverages.”

Professor Biles commented on whether this number of amendments on the ballot is unusually common.

“No, because we have a very long, detailed constitution, and it’s interpreted summarily, you have to have a lot of formal amendments to the Constitution. So that’s not at all an unusual number – it’s within the norm.

Maybe 5-10% of the state’s population will turn out to vote for this election, according to Professor Biles.

According to the Texas Secretary of State website votetexas.org, photo identification cards will be required of anyone voting in this year’s election. Acceptable documentation include a Texas driver license, Texas personal identification card, Texas concealed handgun license, U.S. passport book or card, U.S. Military identification with photo, U.S. Citizenship Certificate or Certificate of Naturalization with photo. If voters do not have any of these forms of identification they can apply for an election identification certificate at no charge from the Texas Department of Public Safety.