Election day arrives; get out and vote

Published 3:37 pm Friday, May 8, 2015

Today is a work day for “the people” in our form of government “of the people, for the people, by the people.” The work, for those of us in areas where there are city or school elections, is to get to the polls and vote. Some may have gotten their work done during the early vote period, but thousands of others of us still need to cast our ballot in this participatory form of government we hold so dear.
As much as we Americans like to gripe about our government and how it doesn’t respond to our needs, it seems like we would be going to the polls in droves to elect people who represent our ideas of how government ought to operate, whether in Washington, D.C., in Austin or right here at home in the Golden Triangle.
But according to the numbers, government doesn’t represent us because we don’t bother to vote. A story about early voting earlier this week gave a sad report about turnout. There are about 38,000 potential voters in Port Arthur, 1574 people voted in the city council and school board elections, a drop off in early voting participation compared to last year. In May 2014, the same joint election attracted a total of 1,932 early voters.
In Nederland, where there is a contested City Council race and referenda on charter changes and dedicating some sales tax money to road repairs, only 348 people turned out to vote early.
The Port Arthur News Editorial Board interviewed all the candidates in the PAISD trustee election and the City Council District 5 election. Our only concern was who we thought would be the best people to move our city forward.
In the PAISD trustee race, six candidates are running for three at-large positions. Each voter can vote for three candidates. The three candidates who receive the most votes win without the possibility of a runoff. Our recommendations in the PAISD trustee race are:
• Lloyd Marie Johnson
• Gregory Flores
• Debra Ambroise
In the Port Arthur City Council District 5 race, two candidates are running for the seat. There’s been some confusion about who is eligible to vote in that race. District 5 is a combined district that includes Districts 1 and 4, so anyone who lives in Districts 1 or 4 can vote in the election for the District 5 council member. Our recommendation in the District 5 City Council race is:
• Keith Richard

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