AUSTIN — It’s Election Day in Texas, and is the first election where Texas voters are required to show a photo ID before casting a vote.
In Austin one of the biggest amendments up for a vote is Proposition 6.
Supporters say its goal is to ease the impact of drought conditions in Texas to protect future generations.
If it passes, it will create a fund for water projects by taking $2 billion from the state’s Rainy Day Fund to create a loan program. Cities and utilities would be able to borrow money from the fund to pay for water projects.
The state legislature approved that state water bank, but not everyone agrees it’s such a good idea. Some lawmakers say they’re concerned the measure will make the struggle for a precious resource too political.
Experts say the conservation plan is crucial because our population is set to double over the next 40 years, and supply is already stressed due to the drought.
According to the latest report from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, more than 1,100 water systems in Texas are affected by our drought right now.
Also on the ballot Tuesday is Austin’s Proposition 1. It could approve $65 million in bonds for affordable housing.
Supporters say voting ‘yes’ will not only create more affordable housing, it will also provide home repair help to senior citizens and people with disabilities.
Opponents say the City needs to stop asking for more money on the issue. Voters rejected a similar $78 million bond last November.
Administrators across the state are watching for any hiccups Tuesday in the first election where Texas voters are required to show a photo ID before casting a vote. Voters must present photo identification — such as a driver’s license, a passport or a military ID — to cast ballots.
State election officials say early voting, which ended Friday, nearly doubled from 2011, when the last off-year elections were held in Texas. More than 317,000 people have already voted in the state’s 15 largest counties, up from 168,000 early voters two years ago.
Polls opened at 7 a.m. and close at 7 p.m.