Breaking Down November’s Ballot

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Voting season is already here with early voting for municipal elections beginning next Monday.

Amarillo Independent School District has proposed a $100 million bond for voters to decide on come this November’s municipal election.

The bond would help with upgrading much of the school district.

“Primarily, we need to do expansions to facilities at Sleepy Hollow, Palo Duro, and Caprock. We need to do a major refresh of Fannin,” said Jim Austin, AISD Board of Trustees President.

That refresh will take up about $11 million of the $100 million total.

$100 million sounds like a lot but Austin said they are not asking for as much money as they could have.
    
“We put our list together of needs, and we came up with $330 million. So we trimmed back to what we consider the absolute necessity,” added Austin.

Voters in Randall County also will be voting, once again, on a local option involving the sale of alcohol.

“Anyone that is in Justice of the Peace Precinct One will be voting on a local option liquor election, and that is to legalize the off-premise consumption of beer and wine,” said Shannon Lackey, the Randall County Election Administrator.

Constitutional amendment elections like this November’s have a historically bad voter turnout, but experts think this time could be different.

“I believe that any time there’s a local entity that adds something to the ballot in addition to the statewide constitutional amendments, it does help with voter turnout,” continued Lackey.

Austin told us the school bond would also be used to help upgrade restrooms on several school campuses, as well as bring all four high school auditoriums up to what Austin called 2017 standards.

In other elections, seven percent in Potter County are voting on a sales tax increase of two percent to pay for operations of the district like the fire department.

In Tulia, voters are deciding on a $13 million bond that would be for construction and updates to the school campuses.

Another interesting election is a special election in Howardwick.

Voters are deciding on both a new mayor and alderman after both resigned from their position.

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