Early voting is underway in Texas for the Nov. 7 special election, and voters are being asked to approve seven state constitution amendments.
The ballot items range from property tax exemptions for special cases to loosening of restrictions on home equity loans. Locally, Leander ISD residents will also vote on approving a $454.4 million bond issue that would fund building four new schools and facility improvements for district growth.
Early voting is from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Oct. 23 through Nov. 1 and from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Nov. 2 and 3. There is no voting on Sunday.
Voters can cast their ballots at any polling station in the county (see list below). Voters can see the dates, times and which polling location is closest at http://www.wilco.org/elections. Line lengths and wait time predictions can be found at http://www.wilco.org/votinglinetimes
All voters must present a form of approved identification, which includes a Texas driver’s license, Texas Election Identification Certificate, United States passport and a Texas handgun license.
Here’s a breakdown of what the seven propositions are:
Proposition 1 would lower property taxes for partially wounded veterans and their families who have benefited from a house sold to them below market value or was donated. Currently, the law only allows an exemption if their home was donated to them by an organization at no cost. The amendment would close a loophole in a similar amendment that’s already in the constitution.
Proposition 2 would loosen restrictions on homeowners to receive loans against the equity in their homes. Opponents argue doing so would place less-qualified borrowers at greater risk of losing their homes.
Proposition 3 would set term limits on individuals with appointed volunteer state positions on boards and commissions. After their term limit expires, the appointee would no longer be able to continue on the board.
Proposition 4 would require courts to give 45 days’ notice to the Texas Legislature if they are hearing a challenge to the constitutionality of a state statute. This is a fix to a previous amendment for this issue that was ruled unconstitutional.
Proposition 5 would fix a previous measure that only granted foundations associated with ten professional sports teams the ability to hold charitable raffles. If prop 5 passes, any professional sports team foundation could hold a charitable raffle.
Proposition 6 would grant a property tax exemption to surviving spouses of first responders who haven’t remarried.
Proposition 7 allows financial institutions to give away prizes as an incentive to open savings accounts. Currently, the Texas Constitution requires the Texas legislature to pass laws prohibiting lotteries, raffles, and other programs where the award of gifts is based on luck or chance.