- The current Texas Constitution was designed to provide greater public control over government, effectively limiting the government’s power. Thus, the people are given a direct say in the amendment process. Look at the proposed amendments to the Texas Constitution from 2017, 2019, and 2021. Choose one of these amendments to research. In your response, you should explain the amendment process in Texas and the background of the amendment you have chosen to discuss. What groups support or oppose the amendment and what are their arguments? Explain which side you agree with and why. If the amendment received a vote in an amendment election, what was the result?
- According to Chapter 5 of the textbook, what are some of the historical and more recent barriers to voting in Texas? (Be specific) What accounts for the low level of voter participation in Texas? What can be done to increase voter participation? (Specifically, discuss at least two policy proposals that election officials could adopt.) After the 2020 election, state legislatures controlled by Republicans (including the Texas Legislature) have been debating and passing election reforms. Counties are in charge of administering elections in Texas. What were some of the proposed changes to election laws in Texas in 2021 and how would they impact a county’s ability to administer elections? Do you think these changes pose undue restrictions on the ability of Texans to vote?
- Using the data from Chapter 7, discuss in detail the gender, racial and educational makeup of the Texas Legislature. Does it adequately represent the population of the state? If the Texas Legislature had more people of color, more women, or more people of varying levels of education, do you think it would pass different policies? If so, what kinds of policies might they pass? (Be specific here.) Does the part-time nature of the Texas Legislature encourage or discourage people from particular occupations to run? Do you think a full-time legislature could make the legislature more representative? Why or why not?