AUSTIN, Texas — Proposition 9 on the Nov. 5 ballot would expand the types of sanctions that may be assessed against a judge or justice following a formal proceeding instituted by the State Commission on Judicial Conduct (SCJC).  It would allow the SCJC at its discretion to issue a private or public admonition, warning, reprimand, or requirement that the person obtain additional training or education, as well as censure or formally recommend resignation or retirement.

Supporters of Proposition 9 believe it would lead to greater public accountability for judges and justices; continue to promote public confidence in the integrity, independence, competence, and impartiality of the judiciary; and encourage judges to maintain high standards of conduct both on and off the bench.

Others argue that stronger measures than those provided by Proposition 9 are needed to reinforce the SCJC’s authority to discipline judges and hold them accountable for judicial misconduct.

“To have a say on whether expanded sanctions for judicial misconduct are needed you must vote,” said Linda Krefting, Chair of the League of Women Voters of Texas Education Fund.  “Voters will also decide if propositions on property tax exemptions, reverse mortgages for seniors, and funding for water become part of the Texas Constitution.”

The nonpartisan LWV-Texas Education Fund Voters Guides for the Constitutional Amendment Election with the ballot language, an explanation, and balanced arguments for and against each proposition plus helpful information on the new photo ID requirement and other aspects of voting are available in English and Spanish at www.lwvtexas.org and www.VOTE411.org.  Print copies will be available through many libraries and distribution by local Leagues.  A Constitutional Amendment page on www.lwvtexas.org provides additional information on the constitutional amendment process and proposals considered by the 2013 Texas Legislature.

Early voting is from Oct. 21 to Nov. 1. Voters can vote at any county location during early voting.  Election Day is Nov. 5 with polls open from 7 am to 7 pm.

Texas now requires voters to show photo ID at the polls.  IDs that can be accepted include: one of four Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) issued photo IDs (driver’s license, personal ID card, concealed handgun license, or election identification certificate) or one of three United States gov ernment issued photo IDs (passport, military ID card, US citizenship or naturalization certificate).  The photo ID must be current or expired no more than 60 days.  Other photo IDs, including student IDs and employment IDs, cannot be accepted at the polls.

Those unable to vote in person during early voting or on election day can apply for a ballot by mail by contacting the county elections office or by downloading the application from http://www.sos.state.tx.us/elections/forms/pol-sub/5-15f.pdf.  The completed application must be received (not postmarked) by Oct. 25.  Photo ID is not required to vote by mail.

For more information, see www.lwvtexas.org, www.VoteTexas.gov, or contact county election officials.

The nonpartisan League of Women Voters of Texas Education Fund (LWV-TEF) encourages informed and active participation in government and works to increase understanding of major public policy issues.  LWV-TEF never supports or opposes candidates for office, or political parties.  LWV-TEF provides objective information in Voters Guides and VOTE411.org that voters need to understand voting requirements and cast an informed ballot.