Monday, October 19, 2009

November 3, 2009 Texas Constitutional Amendment Election

On Monday October 19, 2009 Texans will begin early voting for the November 3, 2009 Constitutional Amendment Election. Early voting ends on Friday October 30, 2009. The last day to register to vote in this election is October 5th. Election Day is on Tuesday November 3, 2009. Locally, in Collin Co., the Wylie school district has a bond issue, and the city of Farmersville has an alcohol proposition on the ballot for their respective residents.

On election day November 3, 2009, Collin County voters will take part in a "Vote Center" experiment. In late August of this year the Texas Secretary of State authorized Collin County to join four other Texas counties to experiment with a countywide "vote anywhere" Vote Center pilot program on election day. Election Day Vote Centers work almost exactly like Early Voting Vote Centers where any registered voter in the county can vote in any of the 59 Vote Centers located around the county.
More on Vote Centers:
Important Dates for this election:
  • September 4, 2009: First Day to Apply for Ballot by Mail
  • October 5, 2009: Last Day to Register to Vote
  • October 19, 2009: First Day of Early Voting.
  • October 27, 2009: Last Day to Apply for Ballot by Mail (application must be received by October 27, not just postmarked October 27)
  • October 30, 2009: Last Day of Early Voting
  • November 3, 2009: Election Day
Election Information: There will be 11 proposed constitutional amendments on the November 3rd ballot. The Texas State Constitution has been amended more than 400 times since it was first enacted in 1876. In order for an amendment to appear on the ballot, the proposed amendment must pass by a two-thirds vote in both the Texas House and Senate. The proposals must receive a majority vote from the voters to be written into the constitution.

Below is a complete list of proposed amendments:

Proposition 1 - “The constitutional amendment authorizing the financing, including through tax increment financing, of the acquisition by municipalities and counties of buffer areas or open spaces adjacent to a military installation for the prevention of encroachment or for the construction of roadways, utilities, or other infrastructure to protect or promote the mission of the military installation.” (Burnt Orange Report - Proposition 1: Military Buffer Open Space)

Proposition 2 - “The constitutional amendment authorizing the legislature to provide for the ad valorem (Latin for according to value) taxation of a residence homestead solely on the basis of the property’s value as a residence homestead.” (Burnt Orange Report - Proposition 2: Homestead Appraisals)

Proposition 3 - “The constitutional amendment providing for uniform standards and procedures for the appraisal of property for ad valorem tax purposes.” (Burnt Orange Report - Proposition 3: Statewide Appraisal Process)

Proposition 4 - “The constitutional amendment establishing the national research university fund to enable emerging research universities in this state to achieve national prominence as major research universities and transferring the balance of the higher education fund to the national research university fund.” (Burnt Orange Report - Proposition 4: National Research University Fund)

Proposition 5 - “The constitutional amendment authorizing the legislature to authorize a single board of equalization for two or more adjoining appraisal entities that elect to provide for consolidated equalizations.” (Burnt Orange Report - Proposition 5: Consolidated Boards of Equalization)

Proposition 6 - “The constitutional amendment authorizing the Veterans’ Land Board to issue general obligation bonds in amounts equal to or less than amounts previously authorized.” (Burnt Orange Report - Proposition 6: Renewing Veterans' Land Bonds)

Proposition 7 - “The constitutional amendment to allow an officer or enlisted member of the Texas State Guard or other state militia or military force to hold other civil offices.” (Burnt Orange Report - PropositionProposition 7: Texas State Guards in Civil Office)

Proposition 8 - “The constitutional amendment authorizing the state to contribute money, property, and other resources for the establishment, maintenance, and operation of veterans hospitals in this state.” (Burnt Orange Report - Proposition 8: State Funding for Veterans' Hospitals)

Proposition 9 - “The constitutional amendment to protect the right of the public, individually and collectively, to access and use the public beaches bordering the seaward shore of the Gulf of Mexico.” (Burnt Orange Report - Proposition 9: Protect Open Beaches)

Proposition 10 - “The constitutional amendment to provide that elected members of the governing boards of emergency services districts may serve terms not to exceed four years.” (Burnt Orange Report - Proposition 10: Emergency District Term Lengths)

Proposition 11 - “The constitutional amendment to prohibit the taking, damaging, or destroying of private property for public use unless the action is for the ownership, use, and enjoyment of the property by the State, a political subdivision of the State, the public at large, or entities granted the power of eminent domain under law or for the elimination of urban blight on a particular parcel of property, but not for certain economic development or enhancement of tax revenue purposes, and to limit the legislature’s authority to grant the power of eminent domain to an entity.” (Burnt Orange Report - Proposition 11: Eminent Domain Restrictions)

Detailed explanations of these amendments have been prepared by:
Other important information about this election:

Please vote early this year - you'll be glad you did. Early voting starts on Monday October 19th and continues until Friday October 30th at several convenient locations around Collin County.

Please remember to take your Voter's Registration Card with you to the polling place when you vote. Several forms of identification (in place of your voter registration card) are acceptable, but election clerks can use the bar code on the registration card to electronically verify your voter registration status. This makes the voting lines move much faster for everyone!!! Please DO NOT cut the bar code off of the card!!
Acceptable forms of identification for voting other than your voter registration certificate:
  1. a driver's license or personal identification card issued to you by the Department of Public Safety or a similar document issued to you by an agency of another state, regardless of whether the license or card has expired;
  2. a form of identification containing your photograph that establishes your identity;
  3. a birth certificate or other document confirming birth that is admissible in a court of law and establishes your identity;
  4. United States citizenship papers issued to you;
  5. a United States passport issued to you;
  6. official mail addressed to you, by name, from a governmental entity;
  7. a copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document that shows your name and address.
Did you receive your Orange Voter's Registration Card? If you did not receive an orange registration card during 2008 or 2009 and you have moved or you have not voted in an election in Collin County during the past two years, your voting registration record may have been "suspended." Check your registration status here.

You are eligible to vote with a mail-in ballot if you meet certain conditions that are set by the Secretary of State. In general, you may be eligible if you are disabled, over 65, or if you will be out of Collin County on Election Day and during Early Voting. For specific information and to determine your eligibility, click here to visit the Secretary of State’s web site or click here to visit the Collin County website. To get an application for a mail-in ballot, click here to visit the Secretary of State’s web site, where you can download an application or request that one be mailed to you. See important dates above regarding when your application must be made and your ballot must be received.

Have you registered to vote yet?
The October 5th deadline to register to vote in the Nov. 3, 2009 election is fast approaching! In general, you are eligible to vote in Collin County if you are a United States Citizen, a resident of the county, 18 years old, not a convicted felon and not declared mentally incapacitated. For specific information and to determine your eligibility, click here to visit the Secretary of State’s web site and read the pamphlet on Texas Voting. Check whether you are already registered to vote here and if you are not yet registered to vote, get your Voter's Registration application here.

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