Monday, October 19, 2009

Early Voting on Texas Constitutional Amendments Begins Today

On every odd year the state government of Texas throws a little party for 181 part-time state employees. A party that lasts 140 days. And these are part-time because they only work for those 140 days every other year.

This past year the 150 state house legislators and 31 state senators worked semi-feverishly to pass eleven laws that need your endorsement before they become the law of the land. Eleven laws that become permanent parts of the state constitution of Texas.

A document that can be found online here.

So on these off-off years between presidential and mid-term elections, we Texans are duty-bound to show up at the polls to give these amendments to our constitution an up or down vote.

And as you can well guess, unless the constitutional amendment is a hot-button issue with social conservatives, these elections are poorly attended.

You know, like the constitutional amendment that was added to the Texas constitution in 2005 that banned same sex marriage and civil unions. That one I well-remember because the line to the poll went out the door and halfway to the street at my Election Day polling place on November 8th 2005. And everyone in line knew each other because they all attended the same church. That amendment, encapsulated in Proposition 2 that year, passed in Fort Bend County by a vote of 35,695 in favor (82.55%) to 7,542 against (17.44%). Statewide, it passed by 75% to 25%.

Texans that vote in off-off year elections hate gays, you see.

Anyway, the time has come again to vote for your favorite constitutional amendments and I have done the homework for you. One of my favorite state representatives, State Rep. Scott Hochberg (D - Houston), has put up a very good and informative website on the 11 propositions. The first page gives you the short blurb on the subject matter of each, but then if you click on the individual proposition hyperlink you get a separate web page for each proposition, including background and arguments for and against the proposition.

I found it hugely informative.

I think, for instance, that you’d be crazy to vote against Proposition 11.

Anyway, as the title of this piece says, early voting for the Constitutional Amendment Election starts today, with Election Day being on November 3rd. The Fort Bend County Elections office has Early Voting locations and hours posted at its website, or you can just click here to get to the website. You then click on the individual polling location on the map to get a listing of the days and hours of operation (they differ from place to place).

Here, you can see the Election Day voting locations in Fort Bend County. All polls open at 7AM and close at 7 PM on that day.


Anonymous said...

Here's another good site for information on the amendments:

Hal said...

That's fine, too. Not very techy though. PDF documents, while vastly improved over their predecessors, still leave me a little cold.