Early voting underway for Nov. 2 election

Early voting has begun for the Nov. 2 election. Several important elections are taking place that will impact Liberty County voters depending on their residency.

Cleveland ISD voters are being asked to consider a $150 million bond referendum to fund construction of a new high school in the Grand San Jacinto community south of Plum Grove. District leaders are calling the bond a “zero tax rate increase” bond because the tax rate is unchanged from the previous year – $0.375 per $100 of property valuation.

Faced with a major decline in property taxes due to the loss of the largest taxpayer in its district, Liberty ISD is asking voters to approve a tax rate of $1.3531 per $100 property valuation. Failure to adopt the tax rate will result in a deficit budget of $1.2 million for the 2021-2022 school year, District officials warned in August.

Liberty County Hospital District No. 1 is requesting that voters approve an additional $0.09 cents per $100 property valuation, bringing the total amount levied to $0.18 per $100 valuation. If approved, the funds would be used for construction of a new hospital in Liberty and a separate freestanding clinic in Dayton.

There are two parts to the Hospital District election. Proposition A is for the tax rate increase. Proposition B authorizes the Hospital District to issue general obligation bonds not to exceed $43 million “to pay for the purchase, construction, repair and renovation of buildings, the equipping of buildings for hospital purposes, including clinics, and to acquire and operate a mobile emergency medical service, and for the cost of issuance of the bonds,” according to the ballot.

Liberty County Emergency Services District #2, which serves the Hull and Daisetta areas, is calling an election that will allow a adopt a sales and use tax that will help fund emergency services within the District. 

Proposition 1
 
HJR 143

If passed, this amendment would expand the definition of “professional sports team” to include an organization sanctioned by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association or the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association, allowing the opportunity to conduct raffles.

(State law already allows charitable raffles to be held at many professional sporting events, including NASCAR races, PGA events, and games hosted by other professional sports teams.)

Proposition 2
HJR 99

If passed, this amendment would authorize a county to issue bonds to fund infrastructure and transportation projects in undeveloped and blighted areas, as well as prohibit counties that issue bonds for such purposes from pledging more than 65% of the increase in ad valorem tax revenues to repay the bonds. 
 

Proposition 3
SJR 27 

This amendment would add a new section of the constitution to prohibit the state or any political subdivision from enacting a law, rule, order, or proclamation that limits religious services or organizations. 
 

Proposition 4
SJR 47

This amendment would change the eligibility requirements for the following judicial offices: 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. Requirements would include: 

  • Candidates to be residents of Texas as well as citizens of the United States; 
  • Candidates to have 10 years of experience in Texas as a practicing lawyer or judge of a state or county court for candidates of the supreme court, Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, or a court of appeals; 
  • Candidates to have 8 years of experience in Texas as a practicing lawyer or judge of a state or county court for candidates of a district court; 
  • Candidates to be disqualified if their license to practice law was revoked or suspended during law was revoked or suspended during the experience requirement; and
  • Requirements to be applied to individuals elected or appointed to a term beginning after January 1, 2025.

Proposition 5
HJR 165

This amendment authorizes the Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct to accept and investigate complaints and reports against candidates running for state judicial office.

Proposition 6
SJR 19

The amendment would allow residents of nursing facilities, assisted living facilities, or state-supported living centers to designate an essential caregiver that may not be prohibited from visiting the resident, (even during a pandemic).

Proposition 7
HJR 125

This would amend the Texas Constitution to allow the legislature to extend a homestead tax limit for surviving spouses of disabled individuals as long as the spouse is over 55 years old and resides in the home. (Currently, disabled individuals may apply for a $10,000 homestead tax exemption and a limit on school district property taxes).

Proposition 8
SJR 35 This would amend the Texas Constitution to authorize a total residence homestead property tax exemption for a surviving spouse of a member of the armed services who is killed or fatally injured in the line of duty. (Currently, the constitution grants the exemption to the surviving spouse of a member of the armed services who is killed in action). The new version would also include service members who were fatally injured during military training or other military duties.

During early voting, registered and eligible voters may vote at any early voting location located in the county. Early voting locations are at Hardin City Hall, Cleveland Civic Center, Dayton Community Center, Santa Fe Administration Building and the Jack Hartel Community Building. The hours of early voting are Oct. 18-22, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday, Oct. 23, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Oct. 25-27, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Oct. 28-29, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Bring your ID to the polls

Make sure to bring a photo ID when you come to vote. The ID should be up to date or expired up to four years. Voters 70 or older can bring a photo ID that has been expired for any length of time. If you had trouble getting an ID and can’t get one, here are some alternatives:

  • government document showing your name and an address, such as your voter registration certificate
  • current utility bill
  • bank statement
  • government check
  • paycheck
  • birth certificate

If you use one of these, you’ll have to sign a form that says you had a reasonable impediment to getting an ID.

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