Texas voters took to the polls Tuesday to decide on eight proposed amendments to the state Constitution. These were passed as bills during this year’s legislative sessions but require voter approval. Unofficial results show that Texans are poised to approve all eight amendments, including one proposal barring the state from limiting religious services, even during disasters like the coronavirus pandemic, and another changing eligibility requirements for judges. Turnout this year was lower than the last constitutional amendment election in 2019, with only about 9% of registered Texas voters casting a ballot. Turnout in odd-numbered years has always been low.
As of 9 a.m. Wednesday, these unofficial results from the Secretary of Stateinclude ballots cast in early voting and all election day polling locations.
Proposition 1 — 84% For, 16% Against
Allowing charitable raffles at rodeo events by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association or the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association. Unauthorized raffles can be considered illegal gambling under Texas law.
Proposition 2 — 63% For
Authorizing counties to issue bonds or notes to raise funds for transportation and infrastructure in underdeveloped areas. Cities and towns already have the authority to fund projects with this financing method.
Proposition 3 — 62% For
Banning the state from prohibiting or limiting religious services, including those in churches and other places of worship.
Proposition 4 — 59% For
Requiring candidates to have 10 years of experience practicing law in Texas to be eligible for election to the Texas Supreme Court, the Court of Criminal Appeals or a Texas court of appeals. Currently, the law requires 10 years of experience but allows for out-of-state experience. Also, candidates running to be a district judge would be required to have eight years of experience practicing law in Texas, up from the current requirement of four years.
Proposition 5 — 59% For
Allowing the State Commission on Judicial Conduct to have oversight of candidates running for judicial office by accepting complaints or reports, conducting investigations and reprimanding them. The commission already has oversight over current judicial officeholders.
Proposition 6 — 88% For
Allowing residents of nursing homes and assisted living facilities to designate one essential caregiver who cannot be denied in-person visitation rights.
Proposition 7 — 87% For
Limiting school district property taxes incurred by the surviving spouse of a person with disabilities who is older than 65 and has died. The surviving spouse must be at least 55 years old at the partner’s time of death and still live in the home.
Proposition 8 — 88% For
Expanding eligibility for residential homestead property tax exemptions to include spouses of military members killed or fatally injured in the line of duty. Currently, the exemption is extended to spouses of military members killed in action.
This news story originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at https://apps.texastribune.org/features/2021/texas-election-results-2021-constitutional-amendments/.