OPINION: From the editor: Time to vote is now

Published 6:49 am Saturday, October 30, 2021

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After the last two presidential elections, people yelled fraud and complained, very loudly and in some cases violently, about how their voices were not heard. Right now, there is an election underway which affects the Texas State Constitution. What are we hearing right now? The sound of pins dropping on the floor.

While the last presidential election had a record number of voters turning out at the polls, there are only 1,333 votes cast as of the close of polls on Wednesday night this week. By closing on Thursday, there was a grand total of 1,464 votes. So many will turn out for to select a president yet ignore the state, city council, and school board elections.

This time it is not about who will be our next leader but what rights we have under our State Constitution. The same document which tells those leaders what they can and cannot do while in office. How can one complain their rights are being taken away if they do not bother to vote on propositions affecting their rights?

There are eight proposed amendments to the Texas Constitution that will appear on the November 2nd ballot. In order to appear on the ballot, the proposed amendments must be approved by at least two-thirds of the members of both the Texas Senate and the Texas House of Representatives.

Texans will have the opportunity to approve the following amendments with a majority vote:

Proposition 1 (HJR 143)

“The constitutional amendment authorizing the professional sports team charitable foundations of organizations sanctioned by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association or the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association to conduct charitable raffles at rodeo venues.”

Proposition 2 (HJR 99)

“The constitutional amendment authorizing a county to finance the development or redevelopment of transportation or infrastructure in unproductive, underdeveloped, or blighted areas in the county.”

Proposition 3 (SJR 27)

“The constitutional amendment to prohibit this state or a political subdivision of this state from prohibiting or limiting religious services of religious organizations.”

Proposition 4 (SJR 47)

“The constitutional amendment changing the eligibility requirements for a justice of the supreme court, a judge of the court of criminal appeals, a justice of a court of appeals, and a district judge.”

Proposition 5 (HJR 165)

“The constitutional amendment providing additional powers to the State Commission on Judicial Conduct with respect to candidates for judicial office.”

Proposition 6 (SJR 19)

“The constitutional amendment establishing a right for residents of certain facilities to designate an essential caregiver for in-person visitation.”

Proposition 7 (HJR 125)

“The constitutional amendment to allow the surviving spouse of a person who is disabled to receive a limitation on the school district ad valorem taxes on the spouse’s residence homestead if the spouse is 55 years of age or older at the time of the person’s death.”

Proposition 8 (SJR 35)

“The constitutional amendment authorizing the legislature to provide for an exemption from ad valorem taxation of all or part of the market value of the residence homestead of the surviving spouse of a member of the armed services of the United States who is killed or fatally injured in the line of duty.”

On page 3 you can see where to vote on Tuesday, November 2, 2021. Online, there is a link at the end of this article.

Dawn Burleigh is general manager and editor of The Orange Leader. She can be reached at dawn.burleigh@orangeleader.com

2021 Election Day