Constitutional Election 2021

The State of Texas holds a Constitutional Election in November of odd-years. These are necessary because there is no process for citizen initiated amendments; the only way to change the state Constitution is through statewide voting on proposed amendments added by the state Legislature.

This year's Constitutional Election will be held on Tuesday, November 2, 2021, with Early Voting starting on October 18. Below is a listing of the proposed amendments as reflected on the Texas Secretary of State website. Additional amendment information is linked courtesy of Ballotpedia.com. 

Key Election Dates:

Last Day to Apply for Ballot by Mail (Received): Friday, October 22, 2021
Early Voting: Monday, October 18, 2021 - Friday, October 29, 2021
Election Day: Tuesday, November 2, 2021
 
If you are not registered to vote, it is too late to register to vote in this election. Please be sure to register as soon as possible so that you can take part in future elections. 
 
Following are the proposed amendments and the CCDP's recommended voting. Please be aware that these are recommendations from the CCDP Voting Rights Committee and do not necessarily represent the "official" position of the Texas Democratic Party. All votes are Yes or No.

Proposition 1 (HJR 143)
What it says: The constitutional amendment authorizing the professional sports team charitable foundations of organizations sanctioned by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association or the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association to conduct charitable raffles at rodeo venues.”
Recommendation: Yes
More Info (Ballotpedia.org)

Proposition 2 (HJR 99)

What it says: “The constitutional amendment authorizing a county to finance the development or redevelopment of transportation or infrastructure in unproductive, underdeveloped, or blighted areas in the county.”
What it would do: This amendment would authorize counties to issue bonds to fund the development of transportation and infrastructure projects in unproductive or blighted areas. Cities have had this authority for 40 years. The amendment would prevent counties from using the bond funds to build toll roads. 
Recommendation: Yes
More Info (Ballotpedia.org)

Proposition 3 (SJR 27)
What it says: “The constitutional amendment to prohibit this state or a political subdivision of this state from prohibiting or limiting religious services of religious organizations.”
What it would do: This amendment would prevent state and local governments from restricting the size of worship services, among other possible restrictions such as time and place, even if such a measure is enacted for public safety, e.g. during a pandemic or when there is an unsafe structure being used for services.
Recommendation: No
More Info (Ballotpedia.org)

Proposition 4 (SJR 47)
What it says: “The constitutional amendment changing the eligibility requirements for a justice of the supreme court, a judge of the court of criminal appeals, a justice of a court of appeals, and a district judge.”
What it would do: This amendment would tighten up the eligibility requirements for judges in Texas. Specifically, district court judges would need at least 8 years of practicing law in Texas (currently 4), and appellate judges would need 10 years of practice. Further, candidates must not have been disbarred or had their law license suspended in the 10 ten years prior to their election to the bench. While ensuring the Texas courts are run by experienced and qualified judges, this amendment goes too far, is overly restrictive, and would hinder efforts to ensure a diversified judicial bench.
Recommendation: No
More Info (Ballotpedia.org)

Proposition 5 (HJR 165)
What it says: “The constitutional amendment providing additional powers to the State Commission on Judicial Conduct with respect to candidates for judicial office.”
What it would do: This amendment would allow the State Commission on Judicial Conduct to investigate breaches of the Code of Judicial Conduct by candidates for judge and not just sitting judges. This will create a more level playing field and make elections fairer.
Recommendation: Yes
More Info (Ballotpedia.org)

Proposition 6 (SJR 19)
What it says: “The constitutional amendment establishing a right for residents of certain facilities to designate an essential caregiver for in-person visitation.”
What it would do: This amendment would allow residents of a facility to name a person as their essential caregiver and visits from that caregiver would be that resident’s constitutional right. Supporters of the amendment point to the essential role certain family members play in the care of such residents and the positive impacts of visitation. Opponents of the amendment believe it will take away the ability of some officials to restrict access to such facilities in order to protect residents and staff.
Recommendation: Yes

More Info (Ballotpedia.org)

Proposition 7 (HJR 125)
What it says: “The constitutional amendment to allow the surviving spouse of a person who is disabled to receive a limitation on the school district ad valorem taxes on the spouse’s residence homestead if the spouse is 55 years of age or older at the time of the person’s death.”
Recommendation: Yes

More Info (Ballotpedia.org)

Proposition 8 (SJR 35)
What it says: “The constitutional amendment authorizing the legislature to provide for an exemption from ad valorem taxation of all or part of the market value of the residence homestead of the surviving spouse of a member of the armed services of the United States who is killed or fatally injured in the line of duty.”
Recommendation: Yes

More Info (Ballotpedia.org)