It’s Election(s?) time! This month of May, there is both a statewide constitutional amendment election featuring a slew of local ballot measures AND a primary runoff election happening on different weeks in May because Texas hates us. Cities and municipalities across Texas are preparing [yet again] to get a say in local races, citywide, and statewide. At MOVE Texas, we’re all about local democracy, it’s where we started out, and we want to make sure you know everything you need to know to weigh in and cast your vote.
April 24-May 3: Early Voting for Constitutional Amendment Election
May 7: Election Day for Constitutional Amendment Election
May 16-20: Early Voting for Primary Runoffs
May 24: Election Day for Primary Runoffs
What’s a Constitutional Amendment Election?
The Texas constitution is the literal law of this bug chunk of land. It was written in 1876 and has been amended 500 times since because every so often we get the opportunity to add new statewide laws. This time around, there are two amendment proposals.
What’s a Runoff Election?
To learn about the runoff election, we have to first talk about the election which lead to the runoff. Back in March, we voted in the primary elections! The primary election determines each party’s candidate for district-level elections and statewide races in all the 2022 midterm elections. Each race had several candidates aiming to rep the overall party. Buuuut, some of the elections did not result in an overall winner. To win an election, a candidate needs to get over 50 percent of the vote, so a runoff happens when neither of the top two candidates got over 50 percent. And, now we are here where the two candidates will go head to head to decide who delegated as the candidate for their party, and who eventually faces off against the other parties’ candidate.
EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO MAKE A PLAN TO VOTE
Important Point : The deadline to register for both elections has passed. Click here to check if you’re registered to vote!
Only cuties vote early (if you vote early you’re a cutie, that’s the rule). It’s the best, most flexible, and absolute safest way to vote!
- April 24-May 3: Early Voting for Constitutional Amendment Election
- May 16-20: Early Voting for Primary Runoffs
VOTING BY MAIL
According to the Texas Secretary of State (the person in charge of our elections), you are eligible to vote by mail if you are:
- 65 years or older
- Out of the county on election day and during the period for early voting by personal appearance
- Confined in jail, but otherwise eligible
The deadline to apply for a vote by mail ballot for the constitutional amendment election was April 26. The deadline to apply for a vote by mail ballot for the primary runoffs is May 13. To be clear, your county election’s department must receive your application by the deadline. Find an application here. Once you receive your ballot after you apply, make sure it is returned to your county’s elections department by no later than the next business day after each respective Election Day at 5:00 p.m.
We’re celebrating vaccines as much as you are, but remember, y’all, we’re still in a whole pandemic. Although we wish the state could have done more for you, sadly so many will still have to choose between their health and their vote come Election Day. If you choose to go to the polls, once again, wear your mask, wear gloves, bring hand sanitizer, bring your own pen, and keep your distance.
- May 7: Election Day for Constitutional Amendment Election
- May 24: Election Day for Primary Runoffs
If you see your county on this list, yeehaw! It means your county participates in the “countywide polling place program” which is a fancy way of saying you can vote at *any* polling place in your county on Election Day, not just at your assigned precinct location. Yay for pro-voter convenience.
You’ve made it this far – you can have a lil playlist as a treat! We put together some of our favorite Texans to listen to while you’re in line to vote. Thanks for being a voter!
WHAT YOU NEED TO BRING
All you’ll need to actually vote is a little time out of your day and one valid form of I.D. The acceptable forms of ID are:
- Texas Driver License
- Texas Election Certificate
- Texas Personal I.D.
- Texas Handgun License
- U.S. Military I.D. (w/ picture)
- Citizenship or Naturalization Certificate (w/ picture)
- U.S. Passport (book or card)
If you don’t have access to any of these, you can request a “Reasonable Impediment Declaration” and present any one of these alternative forms of identification:
- Birth Certificate
- Current Utility Bill
- Government Check
- Any other government document with your name and address
FIND MY POLLING LOCATION
Put in your address and find your precinct’s polling place:
How do I get there?
No ride, no problem. Our friends at RideShare2Vote can help ya out with a *free* round trip to the polls and back. Just make sure you request your ride 2 hours in advance!
To schedule your free ride: Click here or call us at 888-977-2250.
What Am I Voting For?
That’s the big question! Although we briefly went over what both elections are, we now need to give you the low-down on what exactly is going to be on both ballots.
Constitutional Amendment Election
Prop 1 ballot language: “The constitutional amendment authorizing the legislature to provide for the reduction of the amount of a limitation on the total amount of ad valorem taxes that may be imposed for general elementary and secondary public school purposes on the residence homestead of a person who is elderly or disabled to reflect any statutory reduction from the preceding tax year in the maximum compressed rate of the maintenance and operations taxes imposed for those purposes on the homestead.”
Prop 2 ballot language: “The constitutional amendment increasing the amount of the residence homestead exemption from ad valorem taxation for public school purposes from $25,000 to $40,000.”
Our friends at the Texas Tribune have a great analysis and impact of both propositions. Read here.
Local ballot measures
This election, we are getting behind the Austin Freedom Act (PROP A) which will eliminate the enforcement of low-level marijuana offenses & ban dangerous no-knock warrants.
This is an opportunity for Austin to show other cities what’s possible by helping put an end to racially-biased police practices, advancing the movement for medicinal marijuana, keeping people out of jail, and saving scarce public resources!
Let’s PUFF PUFF PASS PROP A!
Over here, we got some heavy hitters going toe-to-toe in the statewide races from Attorney General to Lieutenant Governor, Comptroller and more! But even more likely to impact your day-to-day life, are the district-level races in the House, Senate, and Board of Education.
To find what is exactly on YOUR ballot, put in your address at vote411.org!