Hays County Voter Guide: What you need to know to vote today
Election Day is May 6. A number of local races are on the ballot in Hays County, including school bonds and emergency services funding.
Here's what you need to know to vote in Hays County. (If you're in Travis County, go here. If you're in Williamson County, go here.)
Am I registered to vote?
First, make sure you’re registered. Go here to verify your registration. The deadline to register, for this election, has passed.
When and where can I vote?
Early voting ran Monday, April 24, to Tuesday, May 2. Election Day is Saturday, May 6.
If you're registered to vote in Hays County, you can vote at any of the county's polling locations. A full list of voting locations and operating hours can be found here. Find a location near you by typing your address into this map.
Don’t forget your ID
Make sure to bring a photo ID. Find a list of acceptable ones here. The ID should be up to date or can be expired up to four years. Voters 70 or older can bring a photo ID that has been expired for any length of time.
If you had trouble getting an ID and don’t have one, here are some alternatives:
- government document showing your name and an address, such as your voter registration certificate
- current utility bill
- bank statement
- government check
- birth certificate
If you use one of these, you’ll have to sign a form that says you had a reasonable impediment to getting an ID.
Voting by mail
If you’re a registered voter in Texas, you can vote by mail if you:
- will be away from your county on Election Day and during early voting;
- are sick or disabled;
- are 65 or older on Election Day;
- are confined in jail, but eligible to vote; or
- are expecting to give birth within three weeks before or after Election Day.
Hays County residents can print and fill out an application to vote by mail here. The deadline to apply to vote by mail was Tuesday, April 25.
When filling out a mail-in ballot, use black or blue ink and follow the instructions to deliver it on time. Make sure the county's elections office receives your ballot on or before Election Day. You can mail in your ballot or hand deliver the sealed envelope to the county elections office. You'll need to show ID if you go in person.
The League of Women Voters has put together a detailed guide to voting by mail for Central Texas voters here.
What's on the ballot?
Find a sample ballot here of everything Hays County voters will decide on. To see what your specific ballot will look like, type your address into Vote411.org.
Learn more about the races below:
The Hays Consolidated Independent School District has a few school board races on the ballot:
- District 1: Bill Ward, Raul Vela Jr.
- District 2: Johnny Flores, Esmeralda Pérez-González
- Trustee at Large: Vanessa Petrea ran unopposed and was declared the elected candidate.
A Hays CISD bond totaling $368 million is also on the ballot. The bond is split into four propositions:
- Prop A: $208.8 million for new school buses, improving and expanding current schools, and building new school buildings.
- Prop B: $102.9 million for expansion and improvements to fine arts, athletics, and career and technical education facilities.
- Prop C: $4 million for technology upgrades.
- Prop D: $52.2 million for building new school buildings and creating outdoor multipurpose pavilions.
San Marcos CISD
The San Marcos Consolidated Independent School District has two school board races on the ballot:
- District 1: Philip Muzzy, Jessica Cain
- District 2: Margie T. Villalpando, Kevin Carswell
- District 3: Sandra Sepulveda Lopez ran unopposed and was declared the elected candidate.
There's also a $166 million bond on the ballot. It is split into four propositions:
- Prop A: Voters will decide if the SMCISD school board can purchase attendance credit from the state with local tax revenues. If Prop A is passed, the district would send money back to the state to be shared with low property-wealth districts in a process called recapture.
- Prop B: $147.7 million for new school buses, improving and expanding current schools and building new school buildings. It would also include districtwide improvements to safety infrastructure and technology.
- Prop C: $985,000 for the renovation of San Marcos High School’s Rattler Stadium and replacement of field turf.
- Prop D: $17.5 million for the construction of a natatorium at San Marcos High School.
Dripping Springs ISD
The Dripping Springs ISD Board of Trustees has an election on the ballot. Voters can select one or two of the following candidates: Ron Jones, Rob McClelland, Jeffrey Aylstock and Kim Cousins.
The Dripping Springs Independent School District proposed bond is one proposition that totals $223.7 million. The bond would include building a new elementary school and a new special education facility, as well as expanding and renovating one elementary school, two middle schools and one high school. It would also fund the purchase of school buses, the design of several new schools, and security and technology updates on all campuses.
North Hays emergency services
North Hays EMS will be asking voters in District 1 to help fund emergency services by increasing the property tax rate maximum from 3 cents per $100 to 10 cents. If the proposition passes, a second proposition in November would determine the new tax rate.
The district is looking to provide better emergency coverage to the area by buying more ambulances and building additional stations.
City of Austin
Hays County voters who live in Austin will get to weigh in on propositions regarding police oversight.
Propositions A and B on Austinites' ballots are pretty much identical, but they're the result of two petition drives from two very different groups with very different views on police oversight.
- Proposition A seeks to give more power to the Office of Police Oversight and the citizen-led panel that reviews incidents of police misconduct.
- Proposition B would restrict the power of both the Office of Police oversight and the city's citizen-led panel.
Read more about the props and how they came about here.