7 percent decided Port Arthur’s future

Published 8:05 am Monday, May 15, 2017

First off, we must congratulate all the winners in the May 6 election.
As it stands, three of the six seats that were up for election now have new faces.
Maybe not completely new, as two of the three have been on council before and one has been on PAISD board for some time now, but still new to recent council.
District Two is still up in the air with incumbent Tiffany Hamilton contesting the election results that saw her lose to Cal Jones by three votes. Something any incumbent would do after such a close margin. But let’s take a look at the results.
District one saw incumbent Raymond Scott win over former mayoral candidate Janice Milo by 5.64 percent or 43 votes. This district had 763 votes cast.
As mentioned above, District Two saw incumbent Tiffany Hamilton defeated by Cal Jones by 1 percent or three votes. This district had 299 votes cast.
District Three was a race of new faces to council that saw PAISD Board of Trustee Thomas Kinlaw win over retired Port Arthur Police Chief Mark Blanton by 4.88 percent or 33 votes. This district had 677 votes cast.
District Four, which garnered the most votes for a single district, saw former Port Arthur city councilman and Mayoral candidate Harold Doucet win over Clonie Ambroise by 16 percent or 146 votes and over Alicia Marshall by 43.85 percent or 400 votes. This district had 910 votes cast.
Citywide Position Seven seat, incumbent Charlotte Moses defeated former District Three councilman Morris Albright by 21.30 percent or 550 votes.
And for Position 8, also a citywide seat, incumbent Kaprina Frank defeated Kevin Christopher by 23.98 percent or 604 votes.
Overall, a total of 2,745 out of the 38,097 registered voters in Port Arthur voiced their opinions during the May 6 election including early voting. Only seven percent decided the immediate future of Port Arthur.
I find that number quite sad. By the sheer volume of people who take to social media on a daily basis and complain about different issues, how can this number be so low? Is it that people just don’t care about what happens to their city? Is it that they don’t trust city government? Is it that they don’t know or are uninformed about their city? Honestly, probably all of the above and more. Although this seven percent is a slight uptick from local elections held just a short few years ago, it’s still not enough to get a true reflection of what the city really wants and needs.
I commend all who took the time out of their day to either go to the early voting polls, mailed in an absentee ballot or voted on Election Day because it is important to you. And should be. However, we need to find a way to drive more voters to the polls for local elections. And that responsibility lies on each and every one of us to promote the importance, inform the uninformed and strive for a better community by voicing ones’ opinion through the electoral process.

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