Early Voting

Voters wait in line in October 2020 to cast their ballots at the Broughton Recreation Center in Longview. Early voting for the Nov. 2 election is set to begin Monday.

Early voting is set to begin Monday for Nov. 2 elections, which include eight Texas constitutional amendments and a bond referendum for Kilgore ISD residents.

The proposed additions to the Texas Constitution were passed as bills during this year’s legislative session, and a majority of voters in the state must approve each amendment before it can be officially added to the Constitution.

■ Proposition 1: Would allow charitable raffles at rodeo events. Unauthorized raffles can be considered illegal gambling under Texas law. In 2015, voters approved a rule to allow charitable raffles at professional sports games. The resulting change created fundraising opportunities for education, cancer research and youth programs, according to an amendment analysis. The constitutional amendment on the ballot this November would extend that permission to rodeo events by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association or the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association.

■ Proposition 2: Would authorize counties to issue bonds or notes to raise funds for transportation infrastructure in underdeveloped areas. Already, cities and towns have the authority to fund projects with this financing method. Counties would repay these bonds by pledging increased property tax revenues, but these funds cannot be used for construction, maintenance or acquisition of toll roads.

■ Proposition 3: Would ban the state from prohibiting or limiting religious services, including those in churches and other places of worship. The move stems from conflicts over churches that closed during the early months of the pandemic in 2020. Some local officials extended stay-at-home orders to include places of worship, requiring them to limit attendance or make services virtual — a trend Gov. Greg Abbott and other Republicans pushed back on. But critics of the proposal worry the change could prevent the government from acting to protect people in future emergencies, such as evacuations and public health emergencies.

■ Proposition 4: Would require 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. Additionally, candidates running to be a district judge would need eight years of law practice or judicial experience in a Texas court, up from the current requirement of four years. Proponents of the change argue it could create a higher-quality judiciary, but opponents say the proposed requirements could reduce voter choice and diversity within the candidate pool. In Texas, judges are elected by popular vote.

■ Proposition 5: Would allow the State Commission on Judicial Conduct to have oversight of candidates running for judicial seats by accepting complaints or reports, conducting investigations and reprimanding them. The commission, an independent agency created by the state Constitution, already has these powers over current judicial officeholders.

■ Proposition 6: Would allow residents of nursing homes and assisted living facilities to designate one essential caregiver who cannot be denied in-person visitation rights. If the proposition passes, the Legislature would create further guidelines for these caregivers. Like Proposition 3, Proposition 6 also comes as a response to pandemic-era restrictions. Nursing homes, which were hit particularly hard by COVID-19, saw extended visitation restrictions that prevented residents from seeing family and friends for months.

■ Proposition 7: Would put a limit on school district property taxes incurred by the surviving spouse of a person with disabilities older than 65 who 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. The amendment is necessary to update the Constitution in accordance with the tax code, which was modified in the 2019 legislative session to include this change. If approved, individuals eligible for these tax breaks could receive refunds on collections in 2020 and 2021. The resolution could reduce school district property tax revenue and increase state funding in accordance with Texas public school funding formulas, according to analysis of the amendment. However, the exact cost of the change cannot be estimated because the number of surviving spouses is unknown.

■ Proposition 8: Would expand eligibility for residential homestead 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. The new eligibility would include people killed in accidental vehicle crashes or non-hostile events. This exemption would apply to fewer than 10 people per year, according to analysis of the amendment.

Kilgore ISD

Proposition A in Kilgore ISD’s bond package totals $109 million for the construction of a new high school campus and renovations at Chandler Elementary School.

Proposition B totals $4 million and would fund renovations at R.E. St. John Stadium.

Early voting is Monday through Oct. 29 at the Gregg County Courthouse and Meadowbrook Golf and Event Center, 1306 Houston St. No. 3340 in Kilgore.

Gregg County early voting

For Gregg County voters, early voting is 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Oct. 22. Early voting hours will continue Oct. 25 to Oct. 27 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Hours will be 7 a.m to 7 p.m. Oct. 28 and 29.

Election Day is Nov. 2, and voting hours are 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

In Gregg County, registered voters can vote at any of the following locations on Election Day:

■ Longview Community Center, 500 E. Whaley St., Longview;

■ Saint Andrew Presbyterian Church, 2500 McCann Road, Longview;

■ Alpine Presbyterian Church, 4102 Tryon Road, Longview;

■ Judson Community Center, 1129 FM 1844, Longview;

■ Spring Hill First Baptist Church, 4000 Gilmer Road, in the gym, Longview;

■ Pine Tree Community Center, 1701 Pine Tree Road, Longview;

■ Community Connections, 501 Pine Tree Road, Longview;

■ Greggton Community Center, 3211 W. Marshall Ave., Longview;

■ Calvary Baptist Church, 4715 Tenneryville Road, Longview;

■ Emmanuel Baptist Church, 501 E. U.S. 80, White Oak;

■ Gladewater First Methodist Church, 217 W. Quitman Ave., Gladewater;

■ Old Sabine ISD Elementary Cafeteria, 5219 Old Highway 135 North, Liberty City;

■ Kilgore Community Center, 622 Kay St., Kilgore;

■ Meadowbrook Country Club, 1306 Houston St., Kilgore;

■ Elderville Community Center, 10450 Texas 349, Longview;

■ Saint Mark CME Church, 1100 Sapphire St., Longview; and

■ Stamper Park Resource Center, 502 S. Center St., Longview.

Voting requirements

All voters must show an acceptable form of photo identification to vote in person. The following forms of photo ID will be accepted, according to the Texas Secretary of State’s Office:

■ Texas driver’s license issued by the Texas Department of Public Safety;

■ Texas election identification certificate issued by DPS;

■ Texas personal identification card issued by DPS;

■ Texas handgun license issued by DPS;

■ U.S. military identification card containing the person’s photograph;

■ U.S. citizenship certificate containing the person’s photograph; and

■ U.S. passport (book or card).

The following is a list of the supporting forms of ID that can be presented if the voter does not possess one of the forms of acceptable photo ID and cannot reasonably obtain one:

■ Copy or original of a government document that shows the voter’s name and an address, including the voter’s voter registration certificate;

■ Copy of or original current utility bill;

■ Copy of or original bank statement;

■ Copy of or original government check;

■ Copy of or original paycheck; or

■ Copy of or original of (a) a certified domestic (from a U.S. state or territory) birth certificate or (b) a document confirming birth admissible in a court of law which establishes the voter’s identity (which may include a foreign birth document).

After presenting one of the forms of supporting ID listed above, the voter must execute a reasonable impediment declaration.

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