9 measures,2 beverage proposals on ballot

Published on Monday, 4 November 2013 23:09 - Written by ADAM RUSSELL arussell@tylerpaper.com

Nine constitutional amendments, two local option beverage proposals and Jacksonville and Chapel Hill school bonds will be on ballots today 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at countywide voting locations.

Chapel Hill ISD voters will consider a $31.2 million bond proposal to pay for facility improvements, including the campuses, the football stadium and baseball/softball complex. The bond is expected to increase the Chapel Hill property tax 14.1 cents to $1.394 per $100 valuation from $1.253 per $100.

This means the annual tax bill for residents with a $100,000 home would increase $141.

The Jacksonville school district has proposed a $22.8 million bond issue to pay for a new West Side Elementary School and Nichols Intermediate school improvements, including a new band hall and eight more classrooms.

Two local-option alcohol proposals also will be on the ballot.

Voters in Justice of the Peace Precincts 1 and 4 will consider legal sales of beer and wine for off-premise consumption.

It will be the first time for Precinct 1 voters to weigh in on the issue. Most of Precinct 1 lies within Tyler’s city limits.

Precinct 4 voters rejected legalizing sales twice.

Voters rejected alcohol in May 2009, 52.71 percent, or 1,461 votes, to 47.29 percent, or 1,311 of 2,772 total votes. They denied sales a second time in November 2010 by 50 votes, 2,350 to 2,300, or 50.55 percent to 49.45 percent.

Justice of the Peace Precinct 4 boundaries run north of Tyler on the east side of County Road 35 (Lavender Road) and on the north and east side of Loop 323 down the northeast side of Texas Highway 64 to New Chapel Hill, then runs east to the north side of Overton.

The nine statewide constitutional amendments include propositions to exempt spouses of veterans killed in action from property taxes; to create the State Water Implementation Fund to finance water projects and to expand the types of sanctions that may be assessed against a judge or justice following formal proceedings.

Historically, constitutional amendment elections draw dismally low turnouts. Texas ranks near the bottom in voter turnout nationally, but in 2012 presidential election 58.6 percent of the state’s 13.6 million voters cast ballots. During the 2010 gubernatorial election, 38 percent of voters visited polls.

By comparison, the 2011 statewide turnout for the constitutional election was just above 5 percent.

But Elections Administrator Karen Nelson said early voting numbers, 994 votes, already eclipsed the 2011 early total of 894. The final constitutional election ballot count that year was 4,093, or around 3.5 percent of registered voters.