Voting on 10 Amendments and Other Local Initiatives

Texans who take the time to do their civic duty will consider ten proposed constitutional amendments, while local decisions range from picking Houston's mayor to banning booze on the Comal.
Tue November 8, 2011 8:32 pm

Next November the country will select a president and Texas will elect a new U.S. Senator. The top of today's ballot might not be so heavy, but there are still important decisions to be made, including voting on ten proposed constitutional amendments, something the Texas Tribune referred to as "a little celebrated—in fact, hardly noticed—biennial Texas tradition." 

Getting the most attention of them, thanks in large part to the drought. is Proposition 8, which Ramit Plushnick-Masti of the Associated Press  said, "would give tax breaks to landowners who take measures to conserve water and preserve water quality." It was one of the few measures to come out of the last legislative session with bi-partisan support.

Want to read more?  Here are the explanatory statements for all ten amendments, as well as endorsements by the progressive Burnt Orange Report  (yes to all but one) and the Conservative Republicans of Texas (no to all but two).

Of course there are also municipal elections.

Houston mayor Annise Parker (left) is trying to avoid a run-off in her relection bid, while the Houston Chronicle predicts that the HISD school board race could determine the future of controversial superintendent Terry Grier, who was profiled by Mimi Swartz in Texas Monthly's October issue.

In New Braunfels, they want to take away your God-given right to a drink a lot of beer whle tubing on the Comal River. Actually, they already did, but as the  Austin American-Statesman reports, unhappy citizens and business owners have put the container ban back in play with a referendum.

In other alcohol/electoral news, the Star-Telegram notes that Grandview, Alvarado, and Joshua are all considering whether or not to become "wet."

And while the Lege is not on most voters' minds right now, it is in Bryan-College Station, where five different candidates are vying to replace retired House District 14 Representative Fred Brown, albeit only for five months. The winner will have to run again next year if they hope to experience the joy of an actual session.

In any case, there's no need to vote if you're a college student, Texas A&M political science professor Harvey Tucker  told The Battalion.

Tucker... said it isn't important for students to vote, largely because they are uneducated about local issues.

"Students get their political information from The Colbert Report and The Daily Show , and those national media don't cover state and local elections," Tucker said.

Given the expected turnout in the state today (the Secretary of State's office told KERA early voting turnout was just 2 percent, and that number is unlikely to rise into double digits) Tucker's observation probably applies to most of the electorate.

More Texas Monthly

Loading, please wait...

Most Read

  • Viewed
  • Past:
  • 1 week