Your North Texas Voter Guide For The November Elections | KERA News

Your North Texas Voter Guide For The November Elections

Nov 7, 2017

In this off-election year, voters across Texas will get to weigh in on seven proposed amendments to the state constitution.

There’s also a number of local initiatives in North Texas on the ballot, including a billion-dollar bond proposal in Dallas, school finance in Fort Worth and government changes in Denton.

Learn more about the ballot items and valid identification in this guide.

Dates to know

Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 7. Early voting ran from Monday, Oct. 23 to Friday, Nov. 3. The deadline to register to vote was Oct. 10. Find out if you’re registered

Where to vote

On Election Day, you must vote at the polling place assigned to your precinct. Find your precinct. Find polling places by county below.

What to bring

The acceptable forms of ID are:

  • Texas driver license issued by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS)
  • Texas Election Identification Certificate issued by DPS
  • Texas personal identification card issued by DPS
  • Texas handgun license issued by DPS
  • United States military identification card containing the person’s photograph
  • U.S. citizenship certificate containing the person’s photograph
  • U.S. passport

With the exception of the U.S. citizenship certificate, ID must be current or have expired no more than four years before being presented at the polling place.

If you don’t have any of the above forms of ID and there was a reasonable impediment or difficulty obtaining one, the following supporting forms of ID can be presented:

  • Valid voter registration certificate
  • Certified birth certificate (must be an original)
  • Copy of or original current utility bill
  • Copy of or original bank statement
  • Copy of or original government check
  • Copy of or original paycheck
  • Copy of or original government document with your name and an address (original required if it contains a photograph)

After presenting a supporting form of ID, you’ll have to sign a Reasonable Impediment Declaration. Learn more.

Voting by mail

You are eligible to vote early by mail if you are 65 or older, disabled, confined in jail but eligible to vote, or out of the county during the entire election including early voting. To vote by mail, you have to apply for a ballot.

Download ballots and find your county’s deadline and address:

Notable ballot items

Dallas County Schools election

State lawmakers in the regular legislative session passed a bill requiring an election on the fate of Dallas County Schools. The agency doesn’t teach students; it’s a regional bus provider for nine North Texas school districts.

The agency has faced criticism amid reports of financial troubles, bus driver shortages and mismanagement by leadership. Sen. Don Huffines, R-Dallas, has been one of the most vocal critics of DCS, calling it a “rogue bureaucracy.” Dallas ISD superintendent Michael Hinojosa supports abolishing the agency.

If voters don't approve the measure on the ballot, the agency will have 18 months to wind down operations, while school districts find other bus providers.

Dallas bond referendum

Voters in Dallas will decide on a $1.05-billion bond proposal. The initial proposal was much smaller, focused mostly on fixing streets. Streets still make up about half ($533.9 million) of the proposed package, but there are nine other propositions to consider:

  • $261.8 million for parks
  • $50 million for Fair Park
  • $18.1 million for city facilities
  • $15.6 million for libraries
  • $20 million for homeless assistance facilities
  • $14.3 million for cultural facilities
  • $48.75 million for flood protection
  • $32 million for public safety facilities
  • $55.4 million for economic development

Here’s a detailed breakdown of each proposition, including specifics on what will be funded. Read this primer on municipal bonds.

Fort Worth ISD propositions

Voters in the Fort Worth school district will decide on a $750 million bond proposal, the largest in Tarrant County history. The bond package would fund renovations at 14 high schools, relocating three specialty schools and a new elementary school to ease overcrowding at Tanglewood Elementary, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports.

They'll also consider a school funding formula known as a "penny swap" that would allow the Fort Worth school district to raise an additional $23 million a year. If approved, the district plans to use the extra money for school improvements, new buses and other projects. 

City of Denton propositions

Denton voters will consider five city charter amendments addressing government operations. Among them: a tougher ethics ordinance, monthly stipends for the City Council members and the mayor and a requirement for council members to live in the city and their respective district for a year before running for office.  

Texas constitutional amendments

There are seven proposed state constitutional amendments on the ballot. They range from creating tax exemptions for disabled veterans and first responders to allowing banks and financial institutions to hold raffles. Here’s the full list of amendments and what they mean.

Sample Ballots

Preview the sample ballots in your county:

Correction: An earlier version of this post said if voters approved a measure related to Dallas County Schools, then the agency would wind down operations. It should have read that if voters do not approve the measure, the agency would wind down operations.