This story was updated at 4:23 p.m., Nov. 3 to include Jemareon Moore as an author on this page.
Texas voters will cast their ballots Nov. 7 on 14 state propositions that look to improve water infrastructure, expand broadband access, create new state parks and other endeavors.
Sarah Kupcho, political science program coordinator and senior lecturer at Texas A&M University-San Antonio, said the proposed constitutional amendments impact how Texas spends its money and uses its resources.
“These propositions are affecting the future of our state and the way that we allocate certain fossil fuels and resources that we need, specifically like water, farming and agriculture land and how we preserve mineral rights and stuff like that,” Kupcho said. “Most of it is, like, kind of combating existing problems…Texas’ economy is built so largely on our mineral and water resources, it’s just when we don’t have access to those and don’t secure them, that’s going to be catastrophic to our sovereignty of states.”
Dylan Villalon, South Bexar County regional coordinator with MOVE Texas, said it’s especially important to get participation from younger voters, who generally only vote when national elections are happening.
“The stuff on the ballot right now at a glance may seem kind of mundane, but one of the things about local elections like this is that when it comes to access to power, access to resources, a lot of that is in the mundane,” said Villalon, a junior double-majoring in communication and psychology at A&M-San Antonio. “So this thing, this ballot coming right before the presidential election, is a really great example of some things that can go unnoticed that can make a really great impact.”
With constitutional amendments such as Proposition 5 that would expand funding for research grants for Texas state universities, Villalon encourages heavy voter participation from students.
Villalon said MOVE Texas, which helps students register to vote and increase their civic engagement, tries to make the voting process accessible, especially for those who juggle work, school, hobbies and other parts of their busy lives.
“So that you don’t have situations where young people are only engaging in the election process every four years for the presidential election — which isn’t terrible, right? — but it creates some gaps…So we’re really trying to make it a year-round thing that people will engage with, because we know it’s important now, more than really it ever has been,” Villalon said.
Mesquite editors and communications students interviewed spokespeople and representatives from different Texas organizations for their viewpoints on each state proposition on the ballot election day Nov. 7. The viewpoints are published in Q&A style. Some sources did not respond to interview requests by deadline. In those cases, The Mesquite compiled information from online research.
For more information on how and where to vote, visit https://www.bexar.org/2229/Voter-Registration-Check-Polling-Locatio or https://www.votetexas.gov/voting/where.html to find out more.