Posted: March 22nd, 2022
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How is the Texas Constitution changed? As you’ve read in your text, changes to the Texas Constitution are proposed by the state legislature, but can only be approved by a majority vote in a statewide election. In 2019, the legislature was able to reach a 2/3 majority in the House and Senate for ten proposed changes. Voters decided whether not to make each change in the November, 2019, election – approving nine out of ten. What other sorts of changes did legislators consider? The Texas Constitution, in accordance with the 26th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (Links to an external site.), allows 18-year-olds to vote. What about people who turn 18 during an election year – before the November General Election, but after the party primary elections – generally held in March. They get to choose between Republican and Democratic nominees, but can’t take part in choosing who those nominees will be. To change this would require an amendment to the Texas Constitution, which starts with a joint resolution in either the Texas House of Representatives or the Senate. Last session, . 37 (Links to an external site.) would have amended our state constitution to allow 17-year-olds to vote in party primary elections as long as they turned 18 by the date of the November General Election. Earlier this year, . 12 (Links to an external site.), by Senator Judith Zaffirini, proposed the same change. Is that a good idea? What do you think? (Links to an external site.) Write an essay (2 – 5 pages, double-spaced, cited sources). Make sure your essay tells your reader: 1. The number and author of the joint resolution proposing this amendment this year. 2. What the proposed amendment would do. 3. Arguments for and against. 4. Who you think might be for it and against it. 5. How would you vote if you were a member of the legislature? 6. Had it passed the House and Senate, do you think Texas voters would have approved it? Cite your sources. Additional Resources Here’s the link to this session’s . 12: (Links to an external site.) Here’s a link to last year’s . 37: (Links to an external site.) This idea was also proposed in 2015 as . 50. You can see how it did: If you look at the witness list from the hearing on . 50, you can see who testified for and against it: The National Youth Rights Association supports this: A group called FairVote supports this idea as well:
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