Charter, constitutional amendments easily pass

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Last night, seven amendments to Texas’ state constitution and two amendments to Lewisville’s city charter passed in landslide votes.

No amendment received less than 60 percent approval among voting Texans, and both of Lewisville’s charter propositions passed with 80 and 78 percent of the vote, respectively. According to the Secretary of State Office’s vote count, between 5.5 and 5.75 percent of Texas’ 15 million voters participated, and locally, only 1,563 ballots were cast in Lewisville according to city data, despite the city’s population of more than 100,000.

Community relations and tourism director James Kunke said this was about normal for Lewisville in an off year.

“That is a little more than 3 percent voter turnout, which is pretty typical in Lewisville for an election with no contested candidate races and no particularly controversial issues,” he said. Our turnout tends to be about 5 to 6 percent for higher profile races.”

The state constitutional amendments will allow property tax exemptions for veterans and the spouses of first responders, allow sports teams and banks to conduct raffles, allow homeowners easier access to their equity and affect the term of unsalaried government appointees. Details can be found on the Texas Tribune.

In Denton County specifically, the constitutional amendment vote was within two or three percentage points of the state-wide numbers in all cases. Between 4.16 and 4.32 percent of the county’s 467,714 registered voters cast their vote on the amendments, according to the Secretary of State Office’s numbers.

The Lewisville charter amendments were to change City Council from an at-large system to a district system should Castle Hills be annexed, something that could be imminent, and to allow the council to appoint interim council members to fill vacancies that are scheduled to last less than 12 months. Place 1, now held by Bob Troyer, was recently left empty for four months when council member Leroy Vaughn died in office.

Place 3 council member TJ Gilmore said he was glad the council shift on the contingency of Castle Hills’ annexation made it onto the charter.

“I’m very excited that’s in place,” he said. “It helps smooth the transition for Castle Hills, makes all that easier.”

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