Who's On My Ballot: Government Positions Explained
Published: 10-21-2022 | 3 MIN READ | Author: Prism Health North Texas
Lieutenant Governor, Comptroller, District Judge, County Commissioner… What does it all mean?? So many different positions can be listed on your ballot, and we know that can be overwhelming. With the Texas Uniform Election coming up fast on Nov. 8, 2022, we want to make sure you understand whom you are electing to what position.
Early voting starts THIS COMING MONDAY, OCTOBER 24th, and is until Friday, November 4th! For a list of Dallas County early voting locations click here. Most locations are open from 7 am to 7 pm.
Here are positions you may see on your ballot and an explanation of what the person in that position does:
State Government Positions
GOVERNOR – The governor is the chief executive of the state. They appoint members to boards and commissions, appoint statewide executive officials, state judges and district attorneys when vacancies occur. They declare special elections to fill vacancies in certain elected offices, deliver the State of the State address, provide guidance to the legislature, call special sessions of the legislature, set the legislative agenda, and serve as commander-in-chief of the state’s military forces.
LIEUTENANT (LT.) GOVERNOR – The lieutenant governor is powerful because of their position as president of the Texas Senate. This position appoints the chairs and vice-chairs of committees, appoints senators to committees, assigns bills to committees, and controls the Senate’s agenda. They are also a member of several commissions and boards and serve as governor in the governor’s absence.
ATTORNEY GENERAL – The Attorney General is the chief law enforcement officer of the state. This person represents the state and state officials in legal matters, issues opinions, oversees the collection of child support, administers the crime victims compensation fund, enforces the open records/open meetings acts, approves public bond issues, and enforces consumer regulations.
COMPTROLLER of PUBLIC ACCOUNTS – The comptroller is the chief financial officer of the state. This person collects state taxes and fees, pays the state’s bills, provides revenue estimates to the legislature, certifies the budget, reports the condition of the state’s finances, and provides economic development assistance to local governments and private businesses.
COMMISSIONER of the GENERAL LAND OFFICE – As head of the General Land Office, the commissioner manages state lands, including oil and gas properties (which supply funds to the Permanent School Fund) and the Alamo. The commissioner chairs the Veterans Land Board, which administers programs for Texas veterans, and is responsible for the environmental protection of Texas’ coast.
COMMISSIONER of AGRICULTURE – The agriculture commissioner’s principal job is to promote Texas’ agriculture. In that capacity, the commissioner facilitates trade and marketing of agricultural products, regulates weights and measures, regulates pesticide use, certifies organically produced products, administers the National School Lunch and School Breakfast programs, provides financial help to farmers, and helps solve issues related to natural disasters.
RAILROAD COMMISSIONER – The Railroad Commissioner is one of the 3-member Texas Railroad Commission. The commission regulates the oil and gas industry, gas utilities, pipeline safety, safety in the liquified petroleum gas industry as well as surface coal and uranium mining. This person has no regulatory authority concerning railroads.
TEXAS STATE SENATE – Responsible for representing the citizens of the district in which this person is elected in the Texas Senate.
STATE REPRESENTATIVE DISTRICT – Responsible for representing the citizens of their district in the Texas House of Representatives.
JUSTICE, TEXAS SUPREME COURT – A justice is one of the 9-member Supreme Court, which issues final decisions on civil and juvenile appeals, issues certain orders to government officials to act on and orders for individuals to appear before the court. This person has jurisdiction over orders or judgments of trial courts if the Supreme Court determines them important to the jurisprudence of the state.
JUDGE, COURT of CRIMINAL APPEALS – A member of the 9-member court which has final judgment in all criminal cases. The court must review all cases in which the death penalty is assessed. It also exercises discretionary review in other criminal cases and issues orders to government officials to act on and orders for individuals to appear before the court.
JUSTICE, COURT OF APPEALS – Courts of Appeals hear appeals on civil and criminal cases from lower courts in their districts.
STATE BOARD of EDUCATION – The 15-member board decides school curriculum, standards, student testing, special education programs, and textbooks for Texas public schools. It also oversees the Permanent School Fund.
COUNTY DISTRICT JUDGE – Civil cases heard by District Courts include personal injury and property damage suits, landlord-tenant matters, election contests, as well as contractual and other business disputes.
COUNTY FAMILY DISTRICT JUDGE – Civil cases heard by Family District Courts include divorce and marriage annulment, adoptions, birth records, child welfare, custody, support, and neglect.
DALLAS COUNTY JUDGE – Responsible for presiding over the Dallas County Commissioners Court, which conducts the general business of the county and oversees financial matters.
COUNTY COURT-AT-LAW – Civil cases heard by County Courts-at-Law include personal injury and property damage suits, landlord-tenant matters, as well as contractual and other business disputes.
COUNTY TREASURER – The Treasurer is the chief custodian of county funds and receives all monies belonging to the county. The Treasurer keeps and accounts for all funds and makes disbursements consistent with constitutional law as the Commissioners Court directs.
COUNTY COMMISSIONER – Responsible for representing the citizens of the district in which this person is elected in the Commissioners Court. The court conducts the general business of the county and oversees financial matters.
COUNTY CRIMINAL DISTRICT ATTORNEY – Represents the citizens of Dallas County in prosecuting misdemeanor and felony crimes. They also act as legal counsel for county government.
PROPOSITION – Some counties may have propositions on the ballot for a suggested program or plan of action, especially in a business context. Please read these very carefully. You vote if you are FOR or AGAINST the proposed proposition.
We hope we cleared up some uncertainty for you. Whether during early voting or on election day, GO VOTE!