All seven state constitutional amendments pass in Nov. 3 election

Lauren Florence

All of the proposed amendments passed in the state’s constitutional election Tuesday, according to the Travis County Clerk’s Office.

Around 75,000 ballots were cast in Travis County, totaling less than 12 percent of the county’s registered voters. This is down from the 85,104 ballots cast in a similar off-year election in Nov. 2013 and down more than 80 percent from the last presidential election, when Travis County had 100,000 fewer registered voters.

The ballot comprised seven proposed amendments to the state constitution, including issues such as allowing professional sports leagues to hold raffles and recognizing the right of citizens to hunt and fish.

Proposition 1 lowers the tax residents pay to the public school system. With the passing of this amendment, each school will apply for supplementary funding from the Foundation School Fund.

Proposition 2 fixes a mistake in 2011’s Proposition 1, which allowed spouses of deceased veterans a homestead exemption on property taxes if their partners died after Jan. 1, 2010. The amendment this year gives all spouses of deceased veterans the exemption regardless of when their spouse died.

Proposition 3 eliminated the law requiring elected state officials to reside in Austin while serving their term in office, revoking a 139-year-old requirement. However, the governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general are exempt from the amendment. The amendment means that at-large officials can no longer be prosecuted by the Travis County District Attorney in legal disputes. The proposition was the closest call of all amendments on the ballot.

Proposition 4 allows professional sports leagues — such as the NBA, NFL, MLB, MLS and NHL — to hold raffles at their home courts.

Proposition 5 allows counties with fewer than 7,500 citizens to commission road construction and maintenance from the private sector instead of from public funds. The proposition will help 20 counties who didn’t qualify under the previous amendment which set the limit at 5,000 people.

Proposition 6 protects the right to hunt, fish and harvest wildlife within the state constitution. The amendment is intended to protect hunting and fishing against any attempt to threaten the activities through conservation efforts.

Proposition 7 will increase funding for the State Highway Fund, which goes towards highway improvement projects. The additional funding will come from the sales and use tax and the state motor vehicle sales and rental tax.

Psychology senior Evelyn Bodenschatz said while most people think elections like the presidential election matter most, voting in smaller elections like Tuesday’s will actually impact people you know.

“There wasn’t an issue that I particularly care about, but I always get on my friends for not voting and if I’m not going to vote in the smaller things, then it doesn’t matter what I think,” Bodenschatz said.

Click here for statewide election results.