by Elisa Hernández, Managing Director, Public Policy
Elections matter at all levels. The DRC’s public policy team works with local, state, and federal elected officials and agencies to advocate for pro-business, pro-growth public policies that strategically manage the region’s growth while maintaining a high quality of life for all who live and work here.
Our work in the city of Dallas is especially important. Voter participation in Dallas in local elections is the lowest in the country, according to a report by the Portland State University. The university showed only about 6.1 percent of eligible voters cast ballots in Dallas, compared to 29 other cities. The highest participation rate was in Portland, Oregon, which saw nearly 60 percent participation.
The DRC public policy team monitors policies and actions taken, and we partner with groups such as North Texas Commission, Dallas Regional Mobility Coalition, North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG), and local chambers to address numerous issues affecting Dallas and our region. We serve on the City of Dallas’ Census 2020 Complete Count Committee to make sure all residents are counted in next year’s decennial census. Furthermore, the DRC public policy team is creating a local policy agenda that will enhance our advocacy efforts with Dallas City Hall, the City of Dallas, the Dallas County Commissioners Court, and other community partners.
During election season, the DRC does not endorse candidates for city council, mayor, or other political offices. We do, however, encourage residents to register to vote and to learn about their candidates. Below, we have provided some essential information about the upcoming election.
THE CITY OF DALLAS’ SPRING 2019 MUNICIPAL GENERAL ELECTION
When is the election date and when does early voting begin?
Early Voting: Monday, April 22 to Tuesday, April 30
You may vote at any voting location in your county of residence during early voting.
Election Day: Saturday, May 4
You must vote in your precinct on Election Day.
What type of government does Dallas have, and are there term limits?
Dallas has a Council-Manager form of government. The city manager serves a critical role as the chief operations officer and oversees City of Dallas employees. The mayor can set the agenda, build coalitions, and champion causes. Since 1991, the City Council has been comprised of 14 single-member districts and a mayor elected at-large. Dallas City Council is term restricted to eight years of service. The mayor is term-limited to two consecutive four-year terms. City council members can serve four two-year terms.
What elected offices are on the May ballot?
Depending on the city, the following offices could be on the ballot: mayor, city council member, school district trustee, and community college district trustee.
Are there any other items on the ballot?
Yes, in some cities and counties there may be city bond and/or school bond propositions requiring voter approval in your area.
How do I find out who is on my ballot and if there are propositions in my city/county of residence?
Check out www.vote411.org to review your sample ballot in your area.
What do I need to vote in-person?
One of the following forms of ID is needed to vote, per the office of the Texas Secretary of State:
- Texas drivers license issued by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS)
- Texas election identification certificate issued by DPS
- Texas personal identification card issued by DPS
- Texas handgun license issued by DPS
- United States military identification card containing the person’s photograph
- United States citizenship certificate containing the person’s photograph
- United States passport (book or card)
Check the Texas Secretary of State’s site for more information on what is required to vote.
Will there be a runoff? If so, when will that take place?
Most likely. In some races, runoff elections will be required. The tentative runoff election date is Saturday, June 8.
The tentative early voting dates will be Wednesday, May 22 to Tuesday, June 4.
If you have any questions about local elections, please contact Elisa Hernández at email@example.com.