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KVUE hosts debate over Prop A, ballot item to increase Austin police staffing

Bill Spelman and Mike Mackowiak discussed how Prop A would change the city in a debate moderated by KVUE and Austin American-Statesman reporter Tony Phlohetski.

AUSTIN, Texas — Are you undecided about Austin's contentious Prop A?

Days before early voting kicked off in Austin-Travis County's Nov. 2 election, KVUE held a debate over the proposition aimed at increasing Austin police staffing. 

Matt Mackowiack from Save Austin Now, the political action committee pushing Prop A, and Bill Spelman from No Way Prop A, the opposition group, took part in the debate. Tony Plohetski, who took an in-depth look at police reform in Austin, moderated the debate. 

During the debate, Mackowiak and Spelman took on over a dozen questions about the controversial ballot item, including cost, cadet classes, retention incentives, and more. 

It all boiled down to the last question, what do Austin voters need to know and where is the common ground?

Rewatch the debate on KVUE's YouTube channel here:

If passed, Prop A would require two sworn Austin Police Department officers for every 1,000 residents. It would also require an additional 40 hours of post-cadet class training hours per year. Front-line officers would also focus 35% of their time on community engagement.

RELATED: Austin wants to be a model of modern policing, but the future remains unclear


What is Proposition A on Austin's November ballot?

November 2021 election: What you need to know before voting

Early voting starts Monday, Oct. 18, and ends Friday, Oct. 29. The last day to apply for a mail-in ballot is Friday, Oct. 22. Mail-in ballots must be received by 7 p.m. on Nov. 2 or 5 p.m. on Nov. 3 if the envelope was postmarked by 7 p.m. on Election Day. 

On Election Day, Nov. 2, polling locations will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. For early voters, polls are open at the same time Monday through Saturday and 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday.

Here's a full guide on what you need to know before voting.


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