‘Early voting has started’: Information provided about upcoming Panhandle May 7 election ballot

Published: Apr. 26, 2022 at 6:02 PM CDT
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AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - Early voting has started and there are a couple different things you may see on the ballot.

There are two State Constitutional Amendments that everyone will vote on.

Some will see four bond proposals from the Amarillo Independent School District and in Randall County there is a school board race for Canyon ISD.

The two amendments simply deal with reducing property taxes.

Proposition One gives the elderly and disabled a deduction on school taxes that were frozen in 2019.

Proposition Two would raise the amount of exemptions for homesteads.

A West Texas A&M political science professor says its rare to see constitutional amendments on a May ballot.

“We almost never vote on constitutional amendments on even numbered years. We usually voted on that was an odd number because the legislature meets in the winter and early spring, and then we vote on them in November,” said Dr. David Rausch, political science professor, West Texas A&M. “But there were some that came up during the special session and so they and there wasn’t enough time to get them on the November election in 2021.”

With the AISD bond proposals, they wold total $286 million for everything from construction of schools and athletic facilities to renovations of Dick Bivins Stadium.

Some believing these bonds are investing for the future generations of students.

“Our kids in the community are important, my children are already through the district but as a citizen the reason I involve myself in the process is because I need to pay it forward for the next generation,” said Rodney Ruthart, co-chair, Amarillo Kids First.

Whereas others are voting against the tax hike, believing the district is asking got a lot more than it needs.

“They’re talking about putting lights on middle school football fields, during an inflationary period. I think we will wait for a little longer to put lights on, there’s a lot of these things I think could be Wait, we can wait on until the money is there to do it,” said Tom Scherlen, against AISD bond.

Scherlen also would rather his money go straight to education.

“Most of the other three bonds are basically for athletics in some form or fashion, I’m more about my kids learning to read, write, arithmetic. I think I would rather pay teachers more money to get good teachers for my children,” said Scherlen.

Ruthart with Amarillo Kids First believes these bonds would help AISD compete with other districts

“Attract students and enable our community to compete well with economic development in our community, anyone who looks to come to Amarillo wants to make sure there is a great school system here for their families, propositions A-D provide improvements to our district that makes Amarillo more attractive,” said Ruthart.

Dr. Rausch also reminds the community, there is another election coming up right after May 7, the Primary Election Runoffs, which also typically has a low voter turnout.

Early voting runs through May 3, and Election Day is May 7.

For more information on the ballot, click here and for more on the AISD bond, click here.

For polling information for Randall County, click here.

For polling information for Potter County, click here.

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