Texans in favor of all 7 constitutional amendments


All seven constitutional amendments on the statewide ballot were approved by Texas voters, according to results released Tuesday evening by the Texas Secretary of State’s office.

With roughly 99 percent of precincts reporting, less than 6 percent of the state's 15 million eligible voters had cast ballots for Tuesday's election — a decrease from 2015's constitutional amendment election, when voter turnout was at approximately 11 percent.

Madison County’s voter turnout was 279 of 7,182 voters, or 3.88 percent.

Almost 70 percent of voters approved of Proposition 2, which would ease restrictions on borrowing against home equity and allow Texans easier access to their equity. The proposition would also lower the maximum fees that can be charged in connection with home equity loans and would exempt certain charges from the calculation of that maximum.

Proposition 1 would authorize property tax exemptions for certain partially disabled veterans or their surviving spouses — those whose homes were donated to them by charity for less than market value. Madison county voters approved the measure 244 to 35, while statewide the totals were 749,292 to 122,034.

Proposition 6 would give property tax exemptions to surviving spouses of first responders killed in the line of duty and was one of Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick's legislative priorities for the 2017 regular session. It was approved in Madison County 215 to 54, and at the state level 734,133 to 133,336.

Turnout in constitutional amendment elections historically has been low. In 2013, only 1.1 million voted. In 2011, only 690,052 Texans showed up — of the 12.8 million who were registered to vote at the time — to vote on 10 amendments.

Any changes to the Texas Constitution must be approved by a majority of Texas voters. Getting a proposed amendment on the ballot requires support from more than two-thirds of both chambers of the Legislature.

For the rest of the measures:

•Proposition 2 — Prescribes conditions, fees, refinancing options, and eligibility for home equity loans: approved 588,457-269,223 (MC 189-86)

•Proposition 3 — Limits the service of certain gubernatorial appointees after expiration of term: approved 717,560 to 145,470 (MC 235-41)

•Proposition 4 — Relates to notice requirements to Attorney General regarding challenge to constitutionality: approved 549,550 to 304,553 (MC 210-65)

•Proposition 5 — Permits additional professional sports team charitable foundations to conduct raffles: approved 507,035 to 333,258 (MC loss 124-149)

•Proposition 7 — Permits financial institutions to award random prizes to customers to encourage saving: approved 507,947 to 343,253 (MC loss 115-158)

More information can be obtained at sos.state.tx.us. Information on Madison County results can be found at www.co.madison.tx.us.

Tony Farkas and Katie Riordan contributed to this report.

This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at https://www.texastribune.org/2017/11/07/early-voting-shows-texans-favor-all-7-constitutional-amendments/.