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May 7 constitutional amendments and local elections: What you need to know before voting

Here is everything you need to know ahead of the May 7 elections, from where to vote to what's on the ballot.

AUSTIN, Texas — On May 7, Texas voters will have the opportunity to weigh in on two proposed amendments to the Texas Constitution, as well as a number of other contests, from local propositions to city council seats.

Early voting for the May 7 elections runs from Monday, April 25, through Tuesday, May 3. As always, polls will be open on Election Day, Saturday, May 7, from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. 

Here's a guide to what you need to know before voting:

Are you registered to vote?

The deadline to register to vote in the May 7 election was April 7. If you're not sure if you're registered to vote in this election, you can check online.

What to bring to a polling site to vote

To vote in person in Texas, you must present a valid photo ID. Below is a list of valid forms of identification:

  • Texas drivers licenses 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
  • U.S. Military Identification Card that contains the person's photograph
  • U.S. Citizenship Certificate that contains the person’s photograph
  • U.S. passport

Here’s a list of what to bring if you do not have one of the accepted forms of photo ID and “cannot reasonably obtain one”:

  • Copy or original of a government document that shows the voter’s name, address, including voter’s voter registrations 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 birth certificate from a U.S. state or territory or (b) a document confirming birth admissible in a court of law which establishes the voter’s identity

If you are unable to present a valid photo ID but can present one of the above forms of supporting ID, you will need to fill out a Reasonable Impediment Declaration.

How to request a mail-in ballot

To vote by mail in Texas, you must be 65 years old or older, sick or disabled, out of the county on Election Day and during the early voting period or confined in jail but otherwise eligible.

The last day to apply for a mail-in ballot for the May 7 election is Tuesday, April 26 (received, not postmarked). You may submit your application by mail, email (ebbm@traviscounty.gov), fax (512-854-3969) or in person.

If you submit your application by fax or email, it must also be sent by mail and received at the county clerk's office within four business days of your electronic submission. The address to mail an application to the Travis County clerk's office is Travis County Clerk – Elections Division, PO Box 149325, Austin, Texas, 78714.

If you submit your application in person, it must be delivered to the Elections Office at 5501 Airport Blvd.

A completed mail ballot must be returned to the Travis County Elections Office in the Official Carrier Envelope provided to you. It may be returned through:

  1. Regular residential mail via the USPS. The ballot must be postmarked by 7 p.m. on Election Day, May 7, and must be received by 5 p.m. on the first mail delivery day after Election Day, which is Monday, May 9
  2. In-person drop off at Travis County Elections Building (5501 Airport Blvd.) on Election Day only from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. You must present an acceptable form of photo identification. If you do not have and cannot reasonably obtain an acceptable form of photo ID, you may show a List B identification and complete a Reasonable Impediment Declaration (RID). Only you may deliver your ballot in person
  3. Via common or contract carriers, including FedEx or UPS. The ballot must be received by 7 p.m. on Election Day. If the carrier provides a receipt mark indicating a time before 7 p.m. on Election Day, it may be received by 5 p.m. on the first mail delivery day after Election Day.

A ballot postmarked on Election Day must be received by the early voting clerk no later than 5 p.m. on the next business day after Election Day. If there is no postmark, the ballot must be received by 7 p.m. on Election Day.

Ballots from overseas voters must be received no later than the fifth day after Election Day. Ballots from military voters must be received no later than the sixth day after Election Day.

Learn more about voting by mail in Travis County.

Where you can vote

Early voting for the May 7 elections runs from Monday, April 25, through Tuesday, May 3. Polling place hours are 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. on Sunday.

There are 31 Travis County early voting polling places for the May 7 elections. You can view them using the map below or by clicking here for the full list:

On Election Day, polling locations will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. If you get in line by 7 p.m., you will be able to cast your ballot. 

There are dozens of Travis County Election Day Vote Centers for these elections. You can view them using the map below or by clicking here:

For information on polling locations in Williamson County, click here. You can go online for voting locations in Hays County and voting locations in Bastrop.

In Travis County, you can vote at any polling location in the county as long as you're registered. However, there are some counties in Texas that don't allow you to vote at any location in the county you reside in. To see if the county you live in allows you to vote anywhere in your county, click here.

If you are only allowed to vote at certain locations, you can find out your polling location by visiting VoteTexas.gov.

What's on the ballot?

The May 7 election is filled with local issues as well as amendments to the state constitution. What your ballot looks like depends on where you live, but some of the major contests include two Texas constitutional amendments, a City of Austin proposition, a big public transit decision for Leander residents and mayoral elections in both Bee Cave and Cedar Park.

Click here to view a sample ballot for Travis County, here for a Williamson County sample ballot and here for a Hays County sample ballot.

Here's a breakdown of some of the major contests for Austin-Travis County voters:

State of Texas - Propositions 1 and 2

All Texans have the opportunity to vote for or against two amendments to the Texas Constitution during the May 7 elections. Both are related to property taxes.

Here is how the State of Texas Proposition 1 will appear on voters' ballots:

"The constitutional amendment authorizing the legislature to provide for the reduction of the amount of a limitation on the total amount of ad valorem taxes that may be imposed for general elementary and secondary public school purposes on the residence homestead of a person who is elderly or disabled to reflect any statutory reduction from the preceding tax year in the maximum compressed rate of the maintenance and operations taxes imposed for those purposes on the homestead."

And here is how Proposition 2 will appear:

"The constitutional amendment increasing the amount of the residence homestead exemption from ad valorem taxation for public school purposes from $25,000 to $40,000."

City of Austin - Proposition A

In January, the Austin City Council voted to put an initiative to decriminalize marijuana and ban no-knock warrants on the May 7 ballot.

Below is how the Austin proposition will appear on residents' ballots:

"Shall an initiative ordinance be approved to (1) eliminate enforcement of low-level marijuana offenses and (2) ban the use of “no knock” warrants by Austin police?"

The Austin Police Department officially ended most arrests and ticketing for personal marijuana possession in July 2020.

City of Leander - Proposition A

Leander voters will have the opportunity to make their voices heard regarding public transit – specifically if the City should cut ties with the Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority (CapMetro).

Leander voters will see the following question on their ballots: "Shall the Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority be continued in the City of Leander?"

According to the City, if the majority of voters vote "yes" on Proposition A, existing CapMetro services would continue and CapMetro would continue to be funded in part by a 1% sales tax in the City.

If the majority of voters vote "no," CapMetro services in Leander would stop on the day after the election results are canvassed, and "the financial obligations of Capital Metro attributable to the City of Leander would cease to accrue." Additionally, CapMetro would continue to be funded in part by a 1% sales tax until the City's net financial obligation to CapMetro is collected. As of Dec. 31, 2021, CapMetro reported that amount to be $42.3 million. 

Leander has more than a dozen other propositions on the May 7 ballot. See either the Travis County or Williamson County sample ballot for more information on those propositions.

What about the other May election?

The May 7 elections do not include primary runoff races. The primary runoff election is Tuesday, May 24. The last day to register to vote in the primary runoff election is Monday, April 25.

For the latest election coverage, visit KVUE.com/VoteTexas. For results on Election Day, visit KVUE.com/Elections.

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