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Propositions, local measures on ballot

Profile image for By Bj Lewis and John D. Harden / Staff Writers
By Bj Lewis and John D. Harden / Staff Writers

Early voting period opens Monday for statewide election

Early voting begins Monday for the Nov. 5 constitutional amendment election.

With a ballot of propositions that includes bonds, special districts and alcohol sales, there are decisions to be made that can affect all county residents. Elections officials are hoping that spurs people to come to the polls.

“There are several throughout the county, Denton ISD, Lewisville ISD, and some of the cities and towns have some propositions on the ballots,” said Frank Phillips, elections administrator for Denton County. “I’ve said it before — some of the local races affect you more than the national races.”

Phillips said he was surprised to look back on the last constitutional election in 2011, which had a turnout of 2.99 percent of registered voters in the county. Going further back, the turnout seems to be trending downward. In 2009, turnout was 5.48 percent; in 2007, it was 6.77 percent; and for 2005, 11.14 percent.

“There has been some talk amongst elections officials of voter fatigue, and I wonder if that’s not just an example of it,” Phillips said.

The elections administrator offered some hope for this year’s election that some of the local races on the ballot could generate more voters.

Other than the constitutional election, a total of 11 jurisdictions have some kind of measure on the ballot, Phillips said.

“The city of Lewisville does have a local-option election for the legal sale of all alcoholic beverages for off-premise consumption,” he said. “Often, those will generate some turnout. Denton ISD has a very large bond proposition. The city of Carrollton has a bond election.

“Those are the issues that can affect your tax rate. Hopefully, people will go out and have their say in them.”

The city of Krum will try for a second time to get bonds passed to allow for the construction of a new fire station and a public works building. In May, the bonds didn’t receive enough votes to pass and the City Council agreed to try again.

Some of the changes the council made to this election’s ballot included shaving some costs and giving each item its own proposition on the ballot.

City officials in Krum said they felt the items failed in May because of misinformation, and since then, they have made several efforts to justify the need for the bonds to pass.

The town of Flower Mound has a $16 million bond item seeking approval. If passed, the proposition would create a River Walk Public Improvement District, and the bond will be used to pay for the district’s improvements.

Bartonville seeks to fill two Town Council positions this November. Two residents have applied for each spot: Randy Van Alstine and Jeff Traylor will compete for Place 1, while Richard Yerxa and Gary A. Marco will vie for Place 4.

Hickory Creek has two items on the ballot. If approved, Proposition 1 would legalize the sale of mixed beverages in restaurants. The second item, if approved, would reauthorize the town’s local sales and use tax at the rate of one-fourth of 1 percent to continue providing revenue for maintenance and repair of streets.

BJ LEWIS can be reached at 940-566-6875 and via Twitter at @BjlewisDRC.

JOHN D. HARDEN can be reached at 940-566-6882 and via Twitter at @JDHarden.