Every registered McLennan County voter who did not cast an early ballot has a chance Tuesday to weigh in on local and statewide issues that will affect pocketbooks, children’s education, drinking water, state parks and more.
Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the county’s 33 vote centers.
Early voting brought out 6,269, up from fewer than 1,200 in the last comparable election, in Nov. 2017, but down from last November’s early turnout of about 50,500, when congressional midterms and races for statewide elected office were on the ballot.
Locally, every McLennan County voter will have a say in whether to take on $14.5 million in new debt to expand the city of Waco’s Cameron Park Zoo. The city subsidizes zoo operations to the tune of $2.7 million annually. Despite some reporting, it is not a “tax-neutral bond package.” With an expanding tax base and other debt being paid off, the bond would not directly result in an increase to the property tax rate.
Residents in the growing Midway Independent School District will vote on a $148 million bond package that includes money for a new elementary school, an expansion at the high school, renovations of other buildings and more. West Independent School District residents will vote on a $21.5 million bond package to replace its elementary school, which was built in 1952 and serves two more grade levels than it did before a deadly 2013 fertilizer plant explosion destroyed other school facilities.
Several school district boards and area city councils are also holding contested races.
Statewide, voters will decide the fate of 10 propositions for constitutional amendments. Highlights include one to dedicate sales tax revenue collected on sporting goods to state land, parks and historical sites; and another allowing a state board to issue bonds to pay for water and wastewater infrastructure in economically disadvantaged areas of the state.