From the editor: Voting on the propositions

Published 6:42 pm Saturday, September 28, 2019

Traditionally, voter turnout is low on non-presidential election years, and I expect it to hold true in the November election concerning the propositions.

Between 1988 and 2018, the average turnout of registered voters in odd-numbered year elections featuring constitutional amendments was 11 percent—39 percentage points lower than the average turnout at general elections in even-numbered years. The lowest turnout for an odd-numbered year election during this period was 5 percent in 2011, when voters decided 10 constitutional amendments. The highest turnout for an odd-numbered year election during this period was 26 percent in 1991, when voters decided 13 constitutional amendments, according to

Voter registration deadline for the Nov. 5 election is Oct. 7

Early voting is set for Oct. 21 – Nov. 1. 

We are given the opportunity to voice our opinion, by casting our vote, and changing the State of Texas Constitution. 

Proposition 1: The constitutional amendment permitting a person to hold more than one office as a municipal judge at the same time.

Proposition 2: The constitutional amendment providing for the issuance of additional general obligation bonds by the Texas Water Development Board in an amount not to exceed $200 million to provide financial assistance for the development of certain projects in economically distressed areas.

Proposition 3: The constitutional amendment authorizing the legislature to provide for a temporary exemption from ad valorem taxation of a portion of the appraised value of certain property damaged by a disaster.

Proposition 4: The constitutional amendment prohibiting the imposition of an individual income tax, including a tax on an individual’s share of partnership and unincorporated association income.

Proposition 5: The constitutional amendment dedicating the revenue received from the existing state sales and use taxes that are imposed on sporting goods to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and the Texas Historical Commission to protect Texas’ natural areas, water quality, and history by acquiring, managing, and improving state and local parks and historic sites while not increasing the rate of the state sales and use taxes.

Proposition 6: The constitutional amendment authorizing the legislature to increase by $3 billion the maximum bond amount authorized for the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas.

Proposition 7: The constitutional amendment allowing increased distributions to the available school fund.

Proposition 8: The constitutional amendment providing for the creation of the flood infrastructure fund to assist in the financing of drainage, flood mitigation, and flood control projects.

Proposition 9: The constitutional amendment authorizing the legislature to exempt from ad valorem taxation precious metal held in a precious metal depository located in this state.

Proposition 10: The constitutional amendment to allow the transfer of a law enforcement animal to a qualified caretaker in certain circumstances.


CPPP opposes Proposition 4 stating it is unnecessary and short-sighted according to a press release.

The release continues with, “Texas is one of nine states that does not have a broad-based personal income tax. The Texas Constitution already contains provisions that would control the possible adoption of an income tax.

The “Bullock Amendment,” adopted in 1993 (Art. 8, sec. 24), gives voters final control over any future income tax by requiring approval by a statewide referendum before an income tax could take effect.

Even though we don’t have an income tax, the Constitution already dedicates two-thirds of the revenue from any future income tax to reducing school property tax rates, with the remaining third dedicated to education. Voters would even have to approve further tax-rate increases.

Voters therefore already have total control over the adoption of an income tax.”

However, in a release from the Republican Party of Texas concerning the propositions, it states:

HJR 38 [Proposition 4] proposes a constitutional amendment prohibiting the state from imposing or collecting an individual income tax, including an individual’s share of the partnership and unincorporated association income. There is no current constitutional bar on imposing or collecting an individual income tax.

With conflicting messages and opinions, it is important each person able to vote, should vote in this upcoming election. Allow your voice to be heard and let your representatives know they represent you.

First step is to register to vote.

One may be able to apply to register to vote in person at the following public facilities:

  • State or local voter registration and/or election offices
  • Department of motor vehicles
  • Public assistance agencies
  • Armed services recruitment centers
  • State-funded programs that serve people with disabilities

Any public facility that a state has designated as a voter registration agency

Orange County Election Administration is located at 206 Border Street in Orange. One can call the office at 409-882-7973 to request an application for voter registration or to update one’s current information by filling out a form.

To be eligible to vote, one must be:

  • A U.S Citizen
  • A resident of Orange County
  • Be 18 years of age. One may register at 17 years and 10 months of age.
  • Not be a convicted felon. Unless the sentence is completed, including probation or parole. One will need to check if re-registering is required.
  • Not be declared mentally incapacitated by a court of law.

A person who is diagnosed as being mentally ill, senile, or suffering from some other debility that prevents them from managing his own affairs may be declared mentally incompetent by a court of law, according to

A person who is finally convicted of a felony is not eligible to register to vote. Pursuant to Section 11.002 of the Texas Election Code (the “Code”), once a felon has successfully completed his or her punishment, including any term of incarceration, parole, supervision, period of probation, or has been pardoned, then that person is immediately eligible to register to vote, according to the Texas Secretary of State official website.


Dawn Burleigh is the general manager and editor of The Orange Leader. She can be reached at