Learn about 2018 party primary ballot propositions

Texas primary elections are coming up on March 6, 2018. When early voting begins on Feb. 20, registered voters in our state will have a chance to pick candidates vying for statewide offices such as governor or lieutenant governor, legislative seats, and host of others. But candidates aren’t the only thing you’ll be voting on during the upcoming primary election.

Texas has an open primary system, meaning that you can choose to participate in either the Republican or Democratic party primary, but not both. Your ballot will be determined by where you reside along with which party’s primary you choose. If you choose to participate in the Republican party primary this spring, you will only pick from Republican candidates on your ballot. Likewise, if you opt to vote in the Democratic party primary, you’ll only be seeing Democratic candidates on your ballot this time around. Due to gerrymandering and demographic trends, some districts in Texas will lean so heavily in favor of a single political party that only candidates from that one party will file to run for the office.  That’s why we encourage you to learn about the candidates who are running in your area and pick the party primary in which your vote will make the most difference on March 6. Remember that voting in a party primary does not bind you to vote for that same party’s candidates in November, because you can vote for any candidate from any party or even independent candidates with no party affiliation during the general election.

We encourage you to use our candidate search page here on Teach the Vote to learn more about the candidates in your area, but also know that your primary election ballot will include a few additional items on which you can vote. Texas’s state Republican and Democratic parties use the primary election as a tool to help shape their party platforms every two years. The leadership of each party has selected a handful of ballot propositions to present to voters on their primary ballots. These questions do not change the law in any way or have any binding effect, but they act as a sort of poll to help party leaders learn which issues are most important to their own voters.

For the upcoming 2018 primary election, the Texas Democratic Party has chosen to include 10 propositions on its primary ballot, while the Republican Party of Texas is presenting 11 propositions for its voters to consider. When you vote in the primary, don’t forget to read and consider the ballot propositions and decide whether you agree or disagree with the party’s proposed position on each issue. Some of the ballot measures do relate to public education, such as the GOP’s proposition number five, which deals with using public funds for private or home school vouchers. Your vote during the primaries on nonbinding ballot propositions is a chance to share your input on what ultimately makes it into the official state platform of your political party.

Below are lists of the party platform propositions that will be appearing on your Republican or Democratic primary ballot this year, depending on the political party whose primary you decide to participate in for the March 6 election. Stay tuned to Teach the Vote in the coming days for additional information on how you can help shape your political party’s platform and future direction. Your vote is your voice!

2018 Texas Republican Party Ballot Propositions:

  1. Texas should replace the property tax system with an appropriate consumption tax equivalent. Yes/No
  2. No governmental entity should ever construct or fund construction of toll roads without voter approval. Yes/No
  3. Republicans in the Texas House should select their Speaker nominee by secret ballot in a binding caucus without Democrat influence. Yes/No
  4. Texas should require employers to screen new hires through the free E-Verify system to protect jobs for legal workers. Yes/No
  5. Texas families should be empowered to choose from public, private, charter, or homeschool options for their children’s education, using tax credits or exemptions without government constraints or intrusion. Yes/No
  6. Texas should protect the privacy and safety of women and children in spaces such as bathrooms, locker rooms, and showers in all Texas schools and government buildings. Yes/No
  7. I believe abortion should be abolished in Texas. Yes/No
  8. Vote fraud should be a felony in Texas to help ensure fair elections. Yes/No
  9. Texas demands that Congress completely repeal Obamacare. Yes/No
  10. To slow the growth of property taxes, yearly revenue increases should be capped at 4%, with increases in excess of 4% requiring voter approval. Yes/No
  11. Tax dollars should not be used to fund the building of stadiums for professional or semi-professional sports teams. Yes/No


2018 Texas Democratic Party Ballot Propositions:

  1. Should everyone in Texas have the right to quality public education from pre-k to 12th grade, and affordable college and career training without the burden of crushing student loan debt? Yes/No
  2. Should everyone in Texas have the right to refinance student loan debt with the Federal Reserve at a 0% interest rate, as relief for the crushing burden of debt and an investment in the next generation of Americans? Yes/No
  3. Should everyone in Texas have a right to healthcare, guaranteed by a universal, quality Medicare-for-all system? Yes/No
  4. Should everyone in Texas have the right to economic security, where all workers have earned paid family and sick leave and a living wage that respects their hard work? Yes/No
  5. Should the Democratic Party promote a national jobs program, with high wage and labor standards, to replace crumbling infrastructure and rebuild hurricane damaged areas, paid for with local, state, and federal bonds financed through the Federal Reserve at low interest with long term maturities? Yes/No
  6. Should everyone in Texas have the right to clean air, safe water, and a healthy environment? Yes/No
  7. Should everyone in Texas have the right to a life of dignity and respect, free from discrimination and harassment anywhere, including businesses and public facilities, no matter how they identify, the color of their skin, who they love, socioeconomic status, or from where they come? Yes/No
  8. Should everyone in Texas have the right to affordable and accessible housing and modern utilities including high speed internet, free from any form of discrimination? Yes/No
  9. Should every eligible Texan have the right to vote, made easier by automatic voter registration, the option to vote by mail, a state election holiday, and no corporate campaign influence, foreign interference, or illegal gerrymandering? Yes/No
  10. Should everyone in Texas have the right to a fair criminal justice system that treats people equally and puts an end to the mass incarceration of young people of color for minor offenses? Yes/No
  11. Should there be a just and fair comprehensive immigration reform solution that includes an earned path to citizenship for law-abiding immigrants and their children, keeps families together, protects DREAMers, and provides workforce solutions for businesses? Yes/No
  12. Should everyone in Texas have the right to a fair tax system, where all interests (business, corporations, and individuals) pay their share, so that state government meets its obligations? Yes/No


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32 thoughts on “Learn about 2018 party primary ballot propositions

    1. Jennifer Canaday, CAE Post author

      Hi, Connie. Thanks for your comment. I found some additional information about Proposition #1 on the Texas Republican Party’s website here: https://www.texasgop.org/republican-primary-voter-guide/. The state party’s 2016 platform called for replacing the property taxes with another form of taxation, but not an income tax. The party’s delegates preferred a tax based on how much an individual or business consumes. The most commonly known form of consumption tax is sales tax. I hope this helps answer your question.

      Jennifer Mitchell Canaday, CAE
      ATPE Governmental Relations Director

  1. Mary Orrison

    I am looking for more specific information about the 12 Democratic Party Ballot Propositions so that I can make an educated vote. Where can I get more information on the propositions?

    1. Georgia Harris

      Yes Me too….sorry but Teach the Vote is not doing a very good job of clarifying issues on the Democratic Propositions…I would like more info about Prop 12 but nothing

      1. Mark Wiggins

        Hi Georgia!

        Prop 12 on the Democratic ballot is described on the Texas Democratic Party’s website like this: “Right to Fair Taxation: Should everyone in Texas have the right to a fair tax system, where all interests (business, corporations, and individuals) pay their share, so that state government meets its obligations?”

        Ballot propositions can often be worded in a very broad way, which leaves them open to interpretation. In this case, it’s probably safe to assume that this is referring to a common assertion that state government has a set of responsibilities — schools, roads, public safety, etc. — that it is obligated to fund. Funding requires revenue, which is mostly generated through taxes. This language implies that at least some of the interests mentioned are not contributing an equal share of those taxes, but should be.

        Hopefully this helps. If not, let us know, and we’ll try to do a better job explaining!

        Happy voting!

        Mark Wiggins
        ATPE Lobbyist

  2. Jo Cooper

    Hi, please advise where I can find detailed information concerning the 12 Democratic Party Propositions listed on the primary voting ballot. I would like to know more about what is each proposition entails or whether these are just generalized ideals proposed by the Democratic Party.
    Thank You

  3. Martha

    Please clarify: on the ballots, the propositions require a “for” or “against” vote. These can be tricky.
    Is “for” a “yes” vote?
    Is “against” a “no” vote?

    1. Jennifer Canaday, CAE Post author

      Great question, Martha. I believe these will be presented on your ballot as yes/no questions. Answer “yes” if you agree with the statement and “no” of you disagree. It is essentially asking whether you are for or against the position as stated by the party.

  4. Kate

    Can you point me toward more information on republican propositions 4 and 11? I didn’t see them mentioned in the blog post linked above.

    1. Jennifer Canaday, CAE Post author

      ATPE Lobbyist Monty Exter has provided additional information on the propositions that relate to public education in his follow-up blog post here. However, for additional info on other propositions from the Texas Republican Party that are not specifically tied to public education, I would suggest that you visit the party’s website at https://www.texasgop.org/. Thank you for your interest!

    1. Jennifer Canaday, CAE Post author

      Thanks for your question, Zara. ATPE has only analyzed the ballot propositions that are public education-related. For additional info on other propositions from the Texas Republican Party, I encourage you to visit the party’s website at https://www.texasgop.org/. Thank you for reading our blog.

  5. Lisa Thompson

    Propositions that get enough yes votes go on to be voted on again right? This only says what goes on an actual ballot not what gets made into law, correct?

    1. Jennifer Canaday, CAE Post author

      Ballot propositions are non-binding and have no effect on the law at all. These are simply questions posed by each political party as a form of an opinion poll. State party leaders are seeking input from their voters on what should eventually go into the party’s state platform. The platform simply states a set of beliefs held by the party. The platform may help officeholders determine their priorities and give voters insight on what types of legislation might be pursued in the future, but the platform itself and these ballot propositions do not have any effect on state laws. I hope this helps answer your questions, Lisa. Thank you for reading our blog!

    1. Jennifer Canaday, CAE Post author

      I assume you’re asking about Prop 2 on the Republican Party ballot, which states, “No governmental entity should ever construct or fund construction of toll roads without voter approval.” We understand a “yes” vote to signify that you would support requiring voter approval before a toll road could be built or funded by the government. For additional information, please visit the Republican Party’s website at https://www.texasgop.org/. Thank you for your interest.

    1. Jennifer Canaday, CAE Post author

      Thanks for your question, James. Our interpretation of Proposition #11 on the Republican primary ballot is that a “yes” vote would signify that you agree that tax dollars should not be spent on building stadiums for pro or semi-pro sports teams. A “no” vote would signify that you disagree with the proposition as it’s been laid out. For any additional insights, I’d recommend checking with the Texas Republican party’s website.

      1. James McCormick

        Thank you so much. I was hoping for the right answer since I feel the pro’s should pay their own way. I have to pay my own way. Our bond money should go for things to help the voters and their children, period. All our politicians give away to much tax payer money !

      2. D

        The way this proposition 11 is worded on the Republican ballot is very misleading. I am an educated voter and I still had to reread that proposition several times and hope I voted the way I wanted the vote to go.

  6. Jean

    Proposition 9 – While I don’t like Obama Care a few good things came out of it. For example, I don’t think pre-existing conditions should be cause for denial of health benefits paid by insurance companies or extra high co-pays. If I vote yes to repeal Obama Care, they miss my point. If I vote no don’t repeal completely, they really don’t know what I am thinking. What exactly are they getting at with this question?

  7. Eduardo Estella

    Seems that depending on the voters ideology, the ballot propositions they receive will require a yes for each prop because that’s what is on the partys’ agenda is for the state. Usually 1/2 the population will be disappointed.

  8. EJ Clemons

    I voted today (10/24/18). I didn’t see any Prop issues on the ballot. There were position races on 14 pages. I went back through the pages more than once to make sure. Am I missing something?

    1. Jennifer Mitchell, CAE Post author

      No, you did not miss anything. The political parties’ ballot propositions that were discussed in this blog post only appear on the ballot for their respective primary elections that were held back in the spring. There are no similar propositions on the general election ballot since it’s not broken up by party.

      Jennifer Mitchell, CAE
      ATPE Governmental Relations

  9. Fred Kirkpatrick

    The propositions by the Democratis and the Republications are different in a primary election.
    How are they decided which are chosen to be implemented?

    1. Jennifer Mitchell, CAE Post author

      Fred, thank you for your question. The ballot propositions being considered in this primary election are merely for helping the two political parties shape their respective platforms and legislative priorities going forward. These statements simply ask voters for their opinions, which the state parties may use to decide which positions they or members of their party may take on future legislation. Any “implementation” would be up to the party leaders to decide. These propositions do not have any force of law. I hope this helps clarify the purpose.

      Jennifer Mitchell, ATPE GR Director


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