Confused about the upcoming elections in Liberty County? Here’s what you should know

May will be a busy time for Liberty County voters. There are two elections planned for May, the first being on May 7 for state constitutional amendments, and city, school and hospital district elections. The second election will be the May 24 for runoff elections and the Pct. 4 commissioner’s race that was prompted after a visiting district judge voided the March 1 primary election results.

To simplify the voting process, Liberty County has established voting centers throughout the county where any registered voter can cast their ballot. For instance, if you live in Devers but work in Cleveland or Dayton, and it is more convenient to vote in one of the other cities, you can do so.

Ballots are customized based on where a voter resides. For the May 7 election, there are 68 different ballot styles for Liberty County.

“So say I live in Pct. 3 outside of the city limits of Hardin, I can vote in Hardin ISD, state constitutional amendments and the hospital district elections, but not the Hardin City Council election,” explained Liberty County Elections Administrator Klint Bush. “If I lived in the city, I would get to vote on the city elections, too. Within Pct. 3 alone, there are four different ballot styles.”

Bush said he often sees confusion from people in the Dayton area about whether or not they reside within Liberty County Hospital District 1.

“Just because a person lives within the city limits of Dayton doesn’t mean they are in the hospital district. The boundary lines for the hospital district were established 15 years ago. Just because the city has expanded and grown doesn’t mean the hospital district has expanded and grown with it,” Bush said.

Voter registration cards contain a lot of helpful information. Each Texas voter is issued a unique identification number that is listed on their voter registration card. Also included on the card is a person’s place of residence, which is used to determine the voting districts for which they are eligible to vote.

Early voting for the May 7 election is already underway. Early voting days and hours are: April 25-29, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and May 2-3, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. On election day, polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

There is a smaller window of time to vote early in the May 24 election as it will be held from May 16-20, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. On election day, polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

VOTER CENTER LOCATIONS

Early voting locations are:

  • Jack Hartel Building, 318 San Jacinto St., Liberty, Texas
  • Dayton Community Center, 801 S. Cleveland St., Dayton, Texas
  • Hardin City Hall, 142 CR 2010, Liberty (Hardin), Texas
  • Cleveland Civic Center, 210 Peach St., Cleveland, Texas
  • Santa Fe Administration Building, 1680 CR 3549, Cleveland, Texas
  • Hull-Daisetta High School, 117 N. Main St., Daisetta, Texas

On election day, these locations will be open:

  • Devers School, 201 Chism St., Devers, Texas
  • Hull-Daisetta High School, 117 N Main St., Daisetta, Texas
  • Ames City Hall, 304 Martin Dr., Ames, Texas
  • Jack Hartel Building, 318 San Jacinto St., Liberty, Texas
  • Westlake VFD, 8704 FM 1409, Dayton, Texas
  • Douglas School Gym, 900 Samuel Wiley Drive, Cleveland, Texas
  • Romayor Baptist Church, 307 FM 2610, Cleveland, Texas
  • Hardin City Hall, 142 CO RD 2010, Liberty, Texas
  • HI- Way Tabernacle, 108 CR 2250, Cleveland, Texas
  • Cleveland Civic Center, 210 Peach St., Cleveland, Texas
  • Sante Fe Admin Building, 1680 RD 3549, Cleveland, Texas
  • Plum Grove City Hall, 9485 Plum Grove Rd., Cleveland, Texas
  • Dayton Community Center, 801 S. Cleveland St., Dayton, Texas
  • Kenefick Southern Baptist Church, 3536 FM 1008, Dayton, Texas
  • Tarkington Prairie Baptist Church, 25 CR 306, Cleveland, Texas

CURBSIDE VOTING

If a voter is physically unable to enter the polling place without assistance or likelihood of injury to his or her health, the voter is eligible for entrance or curbside voting.  If you need curbside voting, please call 936-253-8050 and the Elections Administration Office staff will contact the polling location to have a clerk process your curbside voting requirements.

PUBLIC TRUST

In the interest of transparency, the Liberty County Elections Administration office operates a live camera feed on election nights where people can watch as the poll boxes arrive and are processed. The link can be found at https://www.co.liberty.tx.us/page/liberty.Elections.

“We pride ourselves on being the most transparent office in Liberty County. We have a good team. We are here to serve the voters of Liberty County. We strive to ensure that we have free, fair and accurate elections in Liberty County,” said Bush.

WHAT’S ON THE BALLOTS?

In the May 7 election, the cities of Ames, Cleveland, Daisetta, Dayton, Hardin and Liberty will hold elections, as well as Cleveland, Hardin, Hull-Daisetta ISDs and Liberty County Hospital District 1.

The cities of Dayton Lakes, North Cleveland and Plum Grove, as well as Dayton, Devers and Liberty ISDs, have canceled their elections as the seats up for election have no opposition.

Below are links to the May 7 sample ballots:

City of Liberty

City of Ames

City of Hardin

City of Dayton

Hospital District No. 1

Hardin ISD

Hull-Daisetta ISD

City of Daisetta

Cleveland ISD

City of Cleveland

There are two constitutional amendments on the May 7 ballot, proposed by Texas Senator Paul Bettencourt (R-Houston) and both dealing with property taxes.

For Proposition 1, the ballot reads: “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.”

If Proposition 1 is approved by voters, “The intent is to give property owners over the age of 65 and or disabled the benefits of the state’s compressed tax rate for school maintenance and operations (M&O). Homeowners with an over 65 or disabled exemption could see an adjustment in their tax ceiling so that they will see the same type of tax rate compression from HB 3 as others previously received. Any additional tax rate compression provided by HB3, 2019, in future years will automatically be adjusted. Because of the complexity of the over 65 and disabled exemptions, some homeowners with the over 65 or disabled exemptions won’t see the full benefits until additional legislative action is taken in 2023,” according to Bettencourt’s website.

For Proposition 2, the ballot reads: “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.”

Proposition 2’s intent is to help homeowners by increasing the homestead exemption amount by $15,000 per year.  The average homeowner will pay $175 less in school property taxes using the statewide average rate of $1.17/$100 of value as a result. This amendment would raise the homestead property tax exemption from $25,000 to $40,000. The relief would go into effect this year.

Sample ballots for the May 24 election are not available at this time.

TO VOTE

Don’t forget your voter ID or your photo ID when heading to the polls. The ID should be up-to-date or expired for less than four years. Voters 70 or older can bring a photo ID that has been expired for any length of time. If you have 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.

WANT TO HELP WITH ELECTIONS?

The Liberty County Elections Administration Office is always looking for volunteers to help with elections. For more information, call 936-258-8050, email elections@co.liberty.tx.us or stop by 1923 Sam Houston Ave., Liberty, Texas.

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