Early Voting on Constitutional Amendments Gets Underway

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Early voters wait outside the Lion's Field Adult & Senior Activity Center on Broadway Street North of Downtown.

Scott Ball / Rivard Report

The Lions Field Adult and Senior Center on Broadway is one of 34 early voting sites in Bexar County.

Early voting for the Nov. 7 election on seven proposed amendments to the Texas Constitution kicked off at 8 a.m. Monday morning. Citizens of Bexar County can vote early in one of 34 locations until Friday, Nov. 3.

During early voting, residents may visit any polling site in the city to cast their ballots. Come election day, voters must use the location in their designated precinct. To search for your polling location by address, click here. 

Of the seven items on the ballot, Proposition 2, which would ease restrictions on borrowing against home equity, would directly affect the most Texas residents. The amendment would lower the cap on home equity loan-related fees from 3% to 2%.

Early voting on weekdays is from 8 a.m.-6 p.m., Saturdays from 10 a.m.-6 p.m., and Sundays from noon-6 p.m. On Thursday, Nov. 2 and Friday, Nov. 3, polls will be open from 8 a.m.-8 p.m.

Proposition 1 would give disabled veterans or their spouses tax breaks if they pay some amount of money for a home that was donated to them. Current laws only permit tax breaks if they do not pay anything for a donated home.

Proposition 3 would restrict how long certain gubernatorial appointees can serve after term expiration. If approved, appointees would only be able to stay in their position until the last day of the regular legislative session that begins after their terms are up.

Under Proposition 4, the Texas Attorney General would get the opportunity to defend any law being challenged as unconstitutional. The Texas Legislature would mandate that the courts reserve a ruling until 45 days after giving notice of a law being challenged.

Proposition 5 would change state law for sports raffles, expanding the number of professional sports foundations that can host such raffles at games to include the Women’s National Basketball Association, the United Soccer League, and minor league baseball teams.

Proposition 6 would grant partial or total property tax exemptions to the surviving spouses of first responders who perished in the line of duty.

Finally, Proposition 7 would allow credit unions and similar financial institutions to conduct raffles and other promotional activities aimed at encouraging people to save money.

For the Bexar County Elections Department’s sample ballot, click here. 

Elections on constitutional amendments historically have seen lower voter turnout than elections to fill political offices. In 2015, fewer than 1.6 million Texans headed to the polls to vote on amendments to the Texas Constitution. In 2013, it was even lower, at 1.1 million.

Since the State Constitution’s adoption in 1876, Texas voters have approved 491 amendments, according to the Legislative Reference Library.

The ballot also includes an election for two seats on the San Antonio River Authority‘s board of directors, and elections in the municipalities of Converse, Leon Valley, and Windcrest, and Schertz.

5 thoughts on “Early Voting on Constitutional Amendments Gets Underway

  1. There is a whole lot more to Prop 2 than just lowering the cap to 2%. What it really does is transfer some costs TO the homeowner. It MAY make it easier to get the loan, but it assuredly will make it more expensive.

    • Yes, Bob, in most cases it will RAISE the interest rate on the loan, in cases of lower loan amounts, may make it impossible to do, and how a legislative body can make such an assumption that this is a GOOD thing is beyond me. There are already many, many banks and credit unions who have gotten out of the Home Equity loan business, so supply and demand principals will make them even harder to get, thus more expensive. Thank you for the comment!

  2. Thank you for the super information re. the Constitutional Amendments. Could you please do an in depth story on the River Authority elections also? These are super powerful seats, SARA is a taxing entity, and the river is a major economic generator. Thank you in advance!

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