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May 7 Election results: Texas constitutional amendments and Houston-area races

Voters decided on two amendments to the Constitution, as well as local races and a special election.

HOUSTON — Voters headed to the polls today, May 7, to decide two constitutional amendments and many local races, as well as a special election to fill Texas Rep. Garnet Coleman's seat.  Here's where to vote and what's on the ballot, plus what to bring, what not to wear and more

We will follow results as they come in Stay with KHOU 11 for full coverage of the races on the ballot.  We will have results below or you can get the KHOU 11 app to get alerts sent to you.

Check results by county

Texas House of Representatives District 147 Special Election

This is the election to replace Texas Rep. Garnet Coleman, who is retiring. Jolanda Jones and Danielle Keys Bess are on the ballot.  Results below are from the Texas Secretary of State website.

Texas constitutional amendments 

Here are details of the two constitutional amendments and what they mean.

This is what you’ll see under on your ballot:

The constitutional amendment authorizing the legislature to provide for the reduction of the amount of a limitation on the total amount of ad valorem taxes that may be imposed for general elementary and secondary public school purposes on the residence homestead of a person who is elderly or disabled to reflect any statutory reduction from the preceding tax year in the maximum compressed rate of the maintenance and operations taxes imposed for those purposes on the homestead.” 

This is what it means:

This proposition, if passed, would reduce the amount of taxes elderly and disabled homeowners pay to support public education starting next year. This is on the ballot after the legislature passed a property tax reduction in 2019 that didn’t apply to those two groups because their rates were frozen.

This is what you’ll see under on your ballot:

"The constitutional amendment increasing the amount of the residence homestead exemption from ad valorem taxation for public school purposes from $25,000 to $40,000."

This is what it means:

This measure impacts homestead exemptions in school districts. If passed, it would increase the amount homeowners can subtract from the value of their home from $25,000 to $40,000. Lawmakers say this will save homeowners an average of $175 a year.

Voting “yes” on propositions 1 and 2 is a vote for lowering the amount of tax dollars that go to public schools from property taxes. Lawmakers say the state will reimburse school districts for the lost revenue, so if the measures pass, schools will not lose funding.

RELATED: What are Texas' propositions 1 and 2?

Election day recap

Harris County Elections Administrator Isabel Longoria was out touring polling sites throughout the day. She said changes have been made since the March primary.

“We've got more training for our election judges," Longoria said.  "One of the big differences in March was a primary, so you have political parties inviting drama that comes with politics today's a local election so we're seeing smooth sailing for both early vote and election day." 

She said they've received feedback from election day judges on the challenge of getting ballot boxes back in a timely fashion for the count.

“Throughout the night we've improved the process by using constables and other officers to help bring back those ballot boxes from those voting locations to our center warehouse," Longoria said.

Following the March 1 primary in Harris County, Longoria issued her resignation as election administrator. In April, the Harris County Commission accepted her resignation, effective July 1.

RELATED: Harris County Election Commission unanimously votes to accept Isabel Longoria’s resignation

Local special elections usually bring out about 5 percent of voters.  

Verdell Dawkins, who made it out to the polls Saturday, said it’s important to have your voice heard.

"It is very important. A lot of people will say, 'Oh my vote doesn't count.' We've seen a lot of elections where just a couple votes made a difference, so it does make a difference," Dawkins said.

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