Just 2% of El Paso registered voters cast ballots in the first week of early voting for the Nov. 7 Texas constitutional amendments election, which could grant steep property tax cuts to homeowners, among other proposals.
Through Sunday, Oct. 29, just more than 10,000 of El Paso County’s 497,067 registered voters had cast ballots. Early voting began Monday, Oct. 23, and continues through Friday, Nov. 3. Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 7.
El Pasoans can cast ballots at any of the county’s 32 early voting sites through Friday. On Election Day, voters can cast ballots at any of the county’s 115 vote centers.
The hyper-low turnout is typical for an off-year election with no candidates on the ballot. In the last such election in November 2021, just over 4% of registered voters in El Paso County went to the polls.
El Paso’s turnout is a bit behind the rest of Texas. Through Sunday, 3% of registered Texans had voted in early voting.
Learn more about this election’s issues from the League of Women Voters of Texas Voters Guide.
About two-thirds of El Paso’s voters so far have been age 65 and older, according to an El Paso Matters analysis of voting data.
Texas voters are deciding the fate of 14 state constitutional amendments put forward by the Legislature earlier this year.
The most prominent issue is Proposition 4, which would expand the homestead exemption for school taxes from $40,000 to $100,000. The amendment is a key part of a plan by the Legislature to lower property taxes for Texans who live in the home they own.
Property taxes for El Paso homeowners in the county’s three largest school districts would decline on average by $533 to $783 this year if Proposition 4 is approved, according to an El Paso Matters analysis.
The tax plan was passed with bipartisan support in the Legislature, though some critics have warned that putting the expanded homestead exemption in the Constitution could create a school funding crisis during an economic downturn. People who rent apartments or homes get little if any tax relief from this plan.
The ballot also includes a proposal specific to El Paso County. Proposition 11 would allow municipal utility districts in unincorporated areas in the county to sell bonds to build parks, if voters in the district approve.
The bonds would be repaid through property taxes by residents of the municipal utility district. The vast majority of El Paso County residents who live in incorporated cities would not be impacted by the bond repayments.
The constitutional amendment would add El Paso to a number of counties that already have this bonding authority for conservation and reclamation districts that seek to build parks.
Although Proposition 11 is specific to a small portion of El Paso County, voters across Texas will decide the issue because the bonding authority requires an amendment to the Texas Constitution.
While most El Paso County residents can only vote on the 14 constitutional amendments, the village of Vinton is electing three council members. Voters in the Horizon Regional Municipal Utility District are voting on a proposition that would make the Cochran Colonia Subdivision responsible for a share of the district’s bond debt.