Not much has been mentioned in the local media regarding the elections tomorrow. I would have forgotten all about it had I not ran into a fellow PTA parent who is on the School Board Ballot.
So, here I am less than 24hrs from the polls opening, and I am left scrambling to find the issues that will be on the ballot. One article that I read this morning stated that they expect less than 10% turn-out tomorrow.
People, we are given a very special right. We can help make decisions. The entire process is painless, and yet so many will not stop by the polls and cast their votes.
Millions of people around the world would love to have the same freedoms. So many have fought and died so that we could be free to choose. Let’s not take their sacrifices for granted.
In Texas there are several issues at stake. One being Prop 9
This amendment would allow the Legislature to give totally disabled veterans an exemption from all property taxes due on their homes. It also would realign the existing tax exemption categories for disabled veterans in such a way that some partially disabled veterans could receive bigger tax breaks than they are getting now. Veterans who are 30 percent disabled, for example, could see their property tax exemptions increase from $5,000 to $7,500.
Another important issue is Prop 13
This would expand the circumstances under which judges could deny bail to people accused of family violence. A similar amendment, approved by voters two years ago, didn’t go far enough, say advocates of the new proposal, citing a highly publicized murder in San Antonio last year. The latest amendment would allow a judge to deny bail to someone accused of any offense, felony or misdemeanor, involving family violence, if the defendant previously had been released on bail and then had his bond revoked for posing a threat to the victim or the community.
A judge also could deny bail to someone accused of violating a protective order. The court would have to hold a hearing within 48 hours of a defendant’s arrest to determine if denial of bail is warranted. A constitutional amendment approved by voters in 2005 allowed denial of bail in domestic violence cases to people accused of felonies. Some crimes of family violence, however, are misdemeanors, which also would be covered by Proposition 13.
Supporters of Proposition 13 — including prosecutors, Texans Against Sexual Assault and the Texas Council on Family Violence — believe the amendment could have prevented the shooting death in San Antonio last year of Evairene O’Connor. She was shot at least 20 times by her former husband, Matthew O’Connor, who then fatally shot himself. Despite a history of abuse and being accused of repeatedly violating his former wife’s protective order, Matthew O’Connor had been able to post a $5,000 bail bond.
Some of the other important issues that we will be voting on are: Education loans, Homestead limits, Eminent domain, Lawmaker accountability, and Cancer research. All in all there are 16 Propositions on the ballot and many districts are having School Board elections.
Take some time today and find out what issues are on your local ballots and then exercise your right as an American citizen and VOTE!
Here is a link for the Harris County Ballot: Sample Ballot