There were 10 proposed constitutional amendments covering a broad range of topics. Proposition 4 passed statewide with 75% for and 25% against. Proposition 4 established the requirement for an amendment to the Texas Constitution in order for the legislature to ever enact a state income tax. The only Proposition failing was Proposition 1. If approved the measure would have allowed municipal judges to work for several cities at the same time.
Proposition 5 was passed by 88% of statewide voters. Sales tax money collected on sporting goods will now be required to be used to fund Texas Parks and Wildlife and the Texas Historical Commission. Another popular issue was Proposition 10 passing with 94% of the vote. This proposition allows law enforcement officers to keep drug-and bomb-sniffing dogs. The state considered the animals as state-surplus and this amendment allows officers who have worked closely with the animals to become owners.
All the other propositions were related to a range of items including cancer preventions, bond issuance, disaster areas, flood control, precious metals, and school funding.
Archer County voters mirrored the statewide results with 20.68% of eligible voters casting ballots. The November 5th election was the first in Archer County to offer county wide voting. A number of counties across the state adopted the county wide voting process. A voter can now cast a ballot at any polling place in the county. The 20.68% was an increase from previous elections with no offices contested. Whether the new countywide voting can take credit for the increase is up in the air, since Proposition 4 regarding a state income tax seemed to be an important issue for voters. Prop 4 may have been responsible for the increase.
20.68% is still a dismal turnout. There are 5,949 registered voters in Archer County which means 4,719 voter’s preferences on the amendments were not counted. There will plenty of candidates and issues to weigh in on in 2020 so hopefully turnout will be better.