Propositions 1 and 2: Changing Election Dates
By Carlos Morales
KUT News is taking a look at each of the several propositions to amend the city charter coming up on the November ballot. Today we examine Propositions 1 and 2, which would change the basic design of elections in Austin.
Proposition 1 would move the city’s general election date from May to November. Voter turnouts is usually low for May elections, when only city items are on the ballot, but moving city elections to November might mean more people will vote.
“The argument really continues as to whether to give special preference to the city with a May election, or try to strive for a larger turnout in November but possibly get city issues confused again or conflicted with state and federal issues,” said Terrell Blodgett, a retired professor at the LBJ School of Public Affairs.
Proposition 2 would also move the election to November and would make some changes to City Council terms. As it is now, members of the council serve three-year terms, with a three-term limit. Under Proposition 2, members would have four-year terms with a two-term limit. Both of these propositions according to council member Chris Riley, would reduce election costs.
“We would be sharing the costs of holding elections with other jurisdictions that hold November elections — the county, the school district, ACC; we would be saving a significant amount of money,” Riley said.
The city estimates that moving elections to November would save $225,000 per election.