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Early voting ends Friday for Nov. 2 Texas constitutional amendments, local elections

Eight Texas constitutional amendments, several local City Council races and city and school district bond issues are on the ballot in North Texas.

Update: Updated at 9:45 a.m. Friday, Oct. 29 with early voting ending Friday.

Early voting ends Friday for the Nov. 2 election on eight Texas constitutional amendments, several local City Council races and city and school district bond issues.

On Election Day, polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Here’s what you need to know.

Where can I vote?

Each county lists its early voting sites on its website.

Dallas, Collin and Tarrant counties have moved to countywide voting centers. That means voters can cast their ballot at any of the open polling locations in the county, increasing voter flexibility and convenience.

In Dallas County, voters can cast their ballot at any of the countywide voting centers listed on the county elections website. Voters are not tied to one precinct location. The Dallas County elections website tracks which polling locations have long lines and which lines are moving more quickly.

Here are links to the Dallas County, Collin County, Denton County and Tarrant County early voting locations.

Am I registered to vote?

You can check your voter registration status at the secretary of state’s website, www.votetexas.gov. Dallas County residents can also check at the county elections administrator’s website, www.dallascountyvotes.org.

If you have moved within the same county since the last election, you should contact your voter registrar to update your address. You can also do this online at the secretary of state’s website.

If you moved to a new county, you must have registered with your new county to be eligible to vote in November. The deadline to register to vote in this election was Oct. 4.

Do the addresses on my driver’s license and voter registration need to match?

No. The state does not require your driver’s license address to match your voter registration card.

While it’s always good to have your license up to date, the state’s voter identification law allows voters to cast a ballot with a license that has been expired for up to four years. Voters over 70 can use any expired license.

What forms of documentation can I use to meet the state’s voter ID rules?

You must provide one of the seven following types of photo ID:

  • Texas driver’s license
  • Texas election ID certificate
  • Texas personal ID card
  • Texas handgun license
  • U.S. citizenship certificate with photo
  • U.S. military ID card with photo
  • U.S. passport

If you cannot reasonably obtain one of these, you may still cast a ballot by signing a Reasonable Impediment Declaration and providing one of the following:

  • Birth certificate
  • Current utility bill
  • Bank statement
  • Government check
  • Paycheck
  • Government document with your name and address, including your voter registration certificate

How can I vote by mail?

Oct. 22 is the last day to request a mail-in ballot for the November election. The application must be received, not just postmarked, by that date. Mail ballots must be received by 7 p.m. on Nov. 2.

Texas does not have “no excuse” mail voting. The Supreme Court of Texas has said that lack of immunity to COVID-19 alone does not qualify a person to vote by mail. Voters must have another physical condition that prevents them from going to the polls because of risk to their health.

But the court has not specified what those conditions are. It has left that determination up to voters, who risk violating state law.

To qualify to vote by mail, Texans must fall under one of four qualifications:

  • Be 65 or older.
  • Plan to be away from your county of residence for the duration of the election (this will include members of the military, college students and those stationed overseas for work).
  • Have a disability.
  • Be confined in jail without having been finally convicted of a felony.

What’s on the ballot

Texas voters are deciding whether to approve these eight amendments to the state constitution:

Proposition 1 would allow the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association and the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association to hold charity raffles at rodeo events, much like Texas’ professional sports teams do at their home games.

Proposition 2 would authorize counties to issue bonds to fund transportation and infrastructure projects in blighted areas. Cities can currently issue these bonds but not counties.

Proposition 3 would prohibit any governmental entity from enacting any rule limiting or prohibiting religious services. Some places of worship were limited during the COVID-19 pandemic, and this proposed amendment would prohibit that.

Proposition 4 would require judicial candidates to be Texas residents with a license to practice law in Texas, to be a practicing lawyer or judge for at least eight years before election and not have had their law license revoked or suspended during that time.

Proposition 5 would allow the State Commission on Judicial Conduct to take complaints, conduct investigations and take other action against a candidate running for state judicial offices. The commission currently only handles officeholders, not candidates.

Proposition 6 would allow residents in nursing and assisted-living facilities or state-supported living centers to designate an essential caregiver who could not be denied in-person visitation. This is another amendment in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Proposition 7 would allow a surviving spouse of a disabled individual who is receiving homestead exemptions on school district property taxes to continue to take advantage of the exemption, as long as the surviving spouse is 55 or older.

Proposition 8 would extend tax exemptions to a surviving spouse of a member of the military who dies because of any injuries sustained during their service, whether it is related to combat or not.

Read the ballot language and more details on the proposals here.

Among local elections, in Dallas County, Mesquite voters will be electing a mayor and City Council members. District 6 council member Dan Aleman and Ron Ward are running for mayor of Mesquite after Mayor Bruce Archer announced in June he would not seek reelection.

In Richardson, a $190 million bond package for streets, public buildings, sidewalks, drainage and parks is up for approval.

In Collin County, Allen ISD voters will decide on two bond propositions totaling $23.6 million for updates to several facilities, turf and track improvements at Allen ISD athletic facilities and the addition of turf and track at Ford Middle School.

In Denton County, Lewisville voters will decide whether to issue $95 million in bonds for public safety facilities.

In Tarrant County, there is a countywide election for $400 million in bonds for streets and roads and $116 million to build and equip new offices for the district attorney’s office.

Mede Nix, Politics Editor . Mede Nix has been an editor overseeing key coverage areas for The Dallas Morning News for the past 21 years. She’s is currently political editor, directing DMN reporters in Dallas, Austin and Washington. She also currently serves as president of the Texas Associated Press Managing Editors.

mnix@dallasnews.com medenix
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