(Orange, Texas)

October 30, 2013

Early voting remains slow in Orange County

Tommy Mann Jr.
The Orange Leader

ORANGE — Nine amendments to the Constitution of the State of Texas are up for a vote in the Nov. 5 elections.

A total of 831 people have submitted ballots during early voting through Monday, Oct. 28, according to information provided by Tina Barrow, Orange County Election Administrator. Early voting ends Friday, Nov. 1 at the four early voting locations in Orange County. In the 2011, a total of 1,425 ballots had been submitted through the same period.

“This election is a lot slower, no doubt,” Barrow said. “Last time, in 2011, the City of Vidor had a local option election and that brought out a lot of voters. The Vidor location alone had 100 or more people vote nearly everyday. We typically don’t have a big turnout during constitutional amendment elections, unless there is something local on the ballot or unless the amendment is something that a lot of people are really passionate about.”

A total of 109 ballots have been received at the Orange Public Library through six days of early voting, while only 40 have been submitted at the Bridge City Public Works Building voting site.

The most early voting has taken place at the Raymond Gould Community in Vidor, where 115 ballots have been received through Monday. In Mauriceville, at First Baptist Church, a total of 33 ballots have been received.

The bulk of the ballots have been submitted through the mail to the Orange County Election Office with a total of 529 ballots having been received through Monday, Oct. 28. One military ballot has been received, and one ballot from a voter out of the country has been received as well.

The proposed amendments to the Texas constitution are as follows, according to the Texas Secretary of State website:

Proposition No. 1 would mean the surviving spouse of a member of the United States armed services who is killed in action will be exempt from ad valorem taxation of all or part of the market value of their residence homestead, as long as the surviving spouse does not remarry.

Proposition No. 2 would eliminate the requirement for a State Medical Education Board and a State Medical Education Fund. Neither are currently in operation.

Proposition No. 3 would authorize local political subdivisions to extend the length of time that aircraft parts could remain temporarily in the state before being subject to ad valorem taxes. Under current law, these parts may remain in the state for up to 175 days. This amendment would extend that amount of time to 730 days.

Proposition No. 4 would allow the legislature to provide for an exemption from ad valorem taxation of part of the market value of the residence homestead of a partially disabled veteran, or the surviving spouse of a partially disabled veteran if the residence homestead was donated by a charitable organization, at no cost to the veteran.

Proposition No. 5 amends the definition of “reverse mortgage” to authorize the making of reverse mortgage loans for the purchase of homestead property. This amendment also amends lender disclosures and other requirements in connection with a reverse mortgage loan.

Proposition No. 6 creates the State Water Implementation Fund as a specific fund inside the state treasury and outside the General Revenue Fund. Money in the fund would be administered by the Texas Water Development Board, and would be used to implement the state water plan as adopted by TWDB.

Proposition No. 7 would allow home-rule municipalities to provide in its charter the procedure to fill a vacancy on its governing body when the unexpired term is less than 12 months.

Proposition No. 8 would repeal Section 7, Article IX of the Texas Constitution, which relates to the creation of a hospital district in Hidalgo County.

Proposition No. 9 expands the type of sanctions that may be assessed against a judge or justice following a formal proceeding instituted by the State Commission on Judicial Conduct.