Austin voters approve five of eight measures, including a sit-lie ordinance, changes to police oversight office, ranked-choice voting

On May 1, voters in Austin approved five measures and defeated three.

Proposition A was approved 81% to 19%. It requires the city and firefighters association to participate in binding arbitration.

Proposition B was approved 58% to 42%. It prohibits and creates criminal penalties for sitting, lying down, sleeping outdoors, and soliciting money at certain times and in certain areas of the city.

Proposition C was approved 63% to 37%. It gave the city council authority to determine who appoints the Office of Police Oversight. Currently, the director of the Office of Police Oversight is appointed by and reports to the city manager. Proponents of Proposition C said that it would allow the city council to make the office more independent.

Proposition D was approved 66.5% to 33.5%. It moves mayoral elections to presidential election years.

Proposition E was approved 58% to 42%. It establishes ranked-choice voting for city elections if ranked-choice voting is allowed by state law. Currently, Texas cities hold runoff elections when no candidate reaches the required majority vote threshold for victory. According to the Austin Law Department, ranked-choice voting is not permitted under Texas state law. A spokesperson for the department said, “Ranked-choice voting would not be implemented in Austin until or unless the Texas Constitution was amended and/or until the state Legislature amended the Texas Election Code to allow it.”

Proposition F was defeated 14% to 86%. It would have changed the city from a council-manager system, with the city manager as the chief executive officer, to a strong mayor-council system, with the mayor as the chief executive officer.

Proposition G was defeated 43% to 57%. It would have added a city council member and a new council district. Proposition F and G were designed to work together to keep the city council the same size since the mayor is currently a member of the city council but Proposition F would have removed the mayor from the city council.

Proposition H was defeated 43% to 57%. It would have created a public campaign finance system that provided up to two $25 vouchers to each registered voter to contribute to the campaigns of any qualified candidate.

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