AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — On Tuesday (Nov. 2), individuals throughout the Texas Panhandle and surrounding areas are going to have a chance to make their voices heard through their votes on Election Day.
Throughout these areas, communities are putting various measures on the ballot, including ones that could make an impact on their communities if they are approved by voters. This includes tax-related measures, school bonds and economic development-related measures.
MyHighPlains.com has all the information you need to know prior to going to the polls Tuesday.
What has the early voting turnout been like in this election?”
Early voting turnout was low throughout Potter and Randall counties, with officials stating that both Potter and Randall counties saw between 4-5% turnout. When early voting ended on Friday, Oct. 29, a total of 6,398 individuals in the two counties took advantage of the opportunity.
According to data from each of the respective counties, 2,012 individuals voted early in Potter County while 4,386 individuals voted early in Randall County. In Potter County, a total of 1,209 mail-in ballots were requested and 772 have since been received. In Randall County, a total of 2,124 mail-in ballots were sent, with 1,412 of those having been received.
However, voting on Friday trended upward in Randall County.
“We surpassed early voting for 2019,” Randall County Elections Administrator Shannon Lackey said on Monday. “We had over 4,300 people cast their ballot. 1,100 of those were on Friday. So, Friday was definitely a big day…I’m hoping that more people see this and come out tomorrow and cast their ballot.”
While the election is showing less turnout than other elections in the past, elections administrators are stressing the importance of participating in this election.
“There’s still some very, very important measures in there. This is a time that legislators are asking you your opinion on some things and we value the fact that they ask rather than just do,” Melynn Huntley, the elections administrator for Potter County, previously told MyHighPlains.com. “So, there is a proposition for the city of Amarillo, that is very important. There are eight different constitutional amendments, two of which are kind of an outcry as a result of the COVID pandemic, and some of the things that people have the option to vote on will matter when you really sit down and look at it. You may have an opinion on it.”
“If our governing governing bodies could make these decisions on their own, they would,” said Lackey. “The law, whether it’s a state constitution or the city bylaws, they don’t allow the governing bodies to make these decisions. The only way these decisions can be made is with us. Our vote has to be cast in order to help make these decisions that change either our constitution to the state of Texas, or our local city laws.”
What’s on the ballot in this election?
Residents of the city of Amarillo will be able to determine the city’s tax rate through a proposition on the November ballot. According to previous reports by MyHighPlains.com, the City Council approved a tax rate of $0.48404 in August, a 22% increase from the city’s rate of $0.39681 for the 2020-21 fiscal year. Officials expect a citizens’ property tax bill to increase as a whole by approximately 3.5% if passed.
If the proposed tax rate is passed by the voters, the funds the city would collect from the extra revenue would go towards the following items:
- Improvements for parks, athletic fields, trails, other facility and maintenance needs;
- Six new police department personnel, associated vehicles and equipment;
- Additional police/fire equipment;
- Street pothole repairs and resurfacing;
- Pay adjustments for Amarillo Emergency Communications Center staff;
- A 1% increase in compensation for police, fire and city employees.
If the vote fails in November, the tax rate for the 2021-22 fiscal year would result in the voter approval tax rate of $0.44334, a rate $0.0407 lower than the rate council voted on, but still a tax increase regardless.
Other communities within the Texas Panhandle are seeing measures on their respective ballots which could impact their towns as a whole.
According to previous reports by MyHighPlains.com, Shamrock residents are having the chance to vote on a $2.59 million bond to rebuild its community center which burned down in February 2020. If passed, the interest and sinking portion of the city’s tax rate would increase by 25 cents, increasing the overall tax rate from 62 cents to 87 cents.
Officials with the Pampa Independent School District are also asking their voters to make their voices heard in a voter approval tax rate election, moving two cents from the interest and sinking portion of the district’s tax rate to the maintenance and operations portion. If approved, this would give the district access to an additional $600,000 from the state in funding.
All voters throughout the state of Texas will see a series of eight potential additions to the state’s constitution on this year’s ballot. This year, the amendments range in topics from COVID-19 to limitations from ad valorem taxes for specific groups of people.
Over in Clovis, New Mexico, residents will be voting on a proposition that could widen the potential use of revenues from gross receipts taxes to provide funding to both new and existing retail establishments. Previously, cities with a population of more than 35,000 were only allowed to use those funds to provide industries with funding.
Where can I vote on Election Day?
“I do encourage all of the viewers to check with your local elections administrator,” Lackey added. :In these elections, a lot of counties will sometimes reduce the number, so please check before you go to your normal polling place. But in Randall County, all 13 of our locations will be open.”
Election Day voting in November’s election will occur from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Nov. 2 at the following locations throughout Potter and Randall counties:
- Wesley Community Center, northwest entrance at 1615 S. Roberts;
- Bushland Fire Station No. One, 17600 Indian Hill Rd.;
- Second Baptist Church, Family Life Center at 417 S. Buchanan;
- United Citizens Forum, 901 N. Hayden;
- Casey Carpet One, 3500 I-40 West Frontage Rd.;
- Amarillo Auto Supply and Off Road, 3601 Amarillo Blvd.;
- Trinity Baptist Church, east entrance at 1601 I-40 West;
- Chaparral Hills Church, southwest entrance at 4000 W. Cherry;
- Discovery Center, southwest entrance at 1200 Streit Dr.;
- Kids Inc., Mary E. Bivins Room at 2201 SW 27th;
- Hillside Christian Church NW, 600 Tascosa Rd.;
- Highland Park ISD Administration Building; 15300 E. Amarillo Blvd.;
- Lighthouse Baptist Church, 5631 Pavillard;
- Pride Home Center, 3503 NE 24th.
- The Cowboy Church, 8827 S. Washington;
- Comanche Trail Church of Christ, 2700 E. 34th;
- Randall County Justice Center, 2309 Russell Long Blvd. in Canyon;
- Southwest Church of Christ, 4515 Cornell;
- Redeemer Christian Church, 3701 S. Soncy;
- Southwest Branch Library, 6801 W. 45th Ave.;
- Journey Church, 9711 FM 2186;
- Arden Road Baptist, 6701 Arden Rd.;
- Central Baptist Church, 1601 SW 58th;
- Oasis Southwest Baptist Church, 8201 Canyon Dr.;
- Randall County Annex, 4320 S. Western;
- The Summit, 2008 12th Ave. in Canyon;
- Coulter Road Baptist Church, 4108 S. Coulter.
Other Voting Locations
Other communities throughout the region are also hosting elections on Nov. 2. Here are some of the locations where residents of those communities can vote from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Election Day:
- Precinct 101: Groom Community Center, 100 Broadway in Groom;
- Precincts 102 and 401: White Deer Community Center, the intersection of 5th St and Paul St. in White Deer;
- Precincts 103 and 201: Carson County War Memorial Building, 500 Main St. in Panhandle;
- Precinct 301: Panhandle Junior HIgh School Gym, at the corner of 11th St. and Euclid St. in Panhandle;
- Precinct 302: Carson County Precinct No. 3 Barn, located at 501 Mesquite in Fritch;
- Precinct 402: Skellytown City Hall Offices at 500 Chamberlain in Skellytown.
- Precincts One and Four: Texline Community Center, 300 S. 3rd St. in Texline;
- Precincts Two and Eight: Dallam County Courthouse, County Courtroom on the second floor at 414 Denver Ave. in Dalhart;
- Precincts Three, Five and Nine: Dalhart Elks Lodge Ballroom Annex, 122 N. Jefferson St. in Dalhart;
- Precincts Six and Seven: Dallam County Courthouse,402 Denver Ave. in Dalhart.
Deaf Smith County
- Deaf Smith County Courthouse (first floor), 235 E. 3rd St. in Hereford;
- Hereford Civic Center, 1001 W 15th St in Hereford.
- Precinct One: Lefors Senior Center, 806 N. Main in Lefors;
- Precincts Two, Three, Five, Six and Seven: MK Brown Auditorium, 1100 W. Coronado in Pampa;
- Precinct Four: Lovett Library, 302 N. Main in McLean;
- Precinct 4-1: Miami Community Center, 103 S. Main St. in Miami;
- Precinct 4-2: Wayside, Little Red School House, 698 FM 282 in Pampa.
- Precinct 101: Hartley Community Building, 801 Central Ave. in Hartley;
- Precincts 102, 202, 301 and 401: Hartley County Justice Center, 1401 Walnut Ave. in Dalhart;
- Precinct 201: Hartley County Courthouse, 900 Main in Channing.
- Precinct 11: Faith Covenant Church, 1501 S. Florida in Borger;
- Precincts 14 and 23: Fairlanes Baptist Church, 3000 Fairlanes Blvd. in Borger;
- Precinct 21: Fritch School Administration Building, 540 Eagle Blvd. in Fritch;
- Precincts 31 and 42: WTHS Commons Room, 600 Steward Ave. in Stinnett;
- Precincts 33 and 42: Borger School Administration Building, 200 E 9th St. in Borger.
- Precincts 101, 201, 202, 203 and 301: First Street Annex, 301 E. 1st in Dumas;
- Precincts 401 and 402: Sunray City Hall, 405 Main in Sunray.
- Precincts One, Two and 10: Wheeler Girl Scount Hut, 306 S. Canadian St. in Wheeler;
- Precincts Three and Four: Commissioners Courtroom, 401 Main St. in Wheeler;
- Precincts Five, Six and Eight: Shamrock City Hall Annex, 116 West 2nd in Shamrock;
- Precincts Seven and Nine: Shamrock School (Old business office- south end of the school), 100 S. Illinois in Shamrock.
Clovis, New Mexico
- Colonial Park Golf Course, 1300 Colonial Parkway in Clovis;
- Youth Recreation Building, 1504 E 7th St. in Clovis;
- Roy Walker Community Center, 316 W 2nd St. in Clovis;
- Farmers Electric Cooperative, 3701 N Thornton St. in Clovis;
- Curry County Road Department (Road Barn), 1006 CR 6 in Clovis;
- Pleasant Hill Fire Department, 304 SR 77 in Texico;
- Grady Senior Citizens Center 104 W Main in Grady;
- Melrose City Hall, 105 E Avenue B in Melrose;
- Texico Community Building, 215 N Griffin in Texico.
For more Election 2021 coverage, as well as coverage on Election Day from our team of reporters, visit MyHighPlains.com.