Early voting brisk, steady in Port Arthur

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 15, 2019

Early voter turnout for the June 22 Port Arthur mayoral runoff appeared to be consistent throughout the week, with a high mark of 425 voters Tuesday and a low of 340 on Thursday. Voter totals, by day, were:

  • Monday, 363
  • Tuesday, 425
  • Wednesday, 345
  • Thursday, 340

Friday vote totals won’t be revealed until Monday.

City Secretary Sherri Bellard said early this week that voting appeared to outpace the relatively brisk pace recorded during the May 4 General Election early voting in April. The early vote total through Thursday was 1,473.

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Some 13 percent of the city’s 30,491 registered voters cast ballots in May 4 voting, the best turnout in a decade, Bellard said. Five candidates: Incumbent Mayor Derrick Freeman; former Justice of the Peace Thurman Bill Bartie; Port Acres community activist Chuck Vincent; former City Councilmember Willie “Bae” Lewis; and educator Lowra Harrison were candidates.

In the May 4 vote, Freeman led the ticket with 35 percent of the votes; Bartie was second with 24 percent. The two are vying in the runoff for a three-year term.

The mayor’s position is part time.

Early voting — it is conducted at City Hall, 444 Fourth St., and the Port Arthur Public Library, 4615 Ninth Ave., opened this week and will conclude Tuesday. Early voting is from 8 a.m.–5 p.m. Monday, 7 a.m.–7 p.m. Tuesday.

Both candidates have cast their ballots: Freeman at 8:08 a.m. Monday at the library; Bartie at 8:18 a.m. Monday at City Hall. There was a single public forum, held June 6 at Strong Tower Ministries. More than 100 people attended. Both candidates participated.

Those who don’t vote early can cast their ballots June 22 from 7 a.m.–7 p.m. at their regular polling places at the following locations:

  • L. Eldridge Community Center, 5262 S. Gulfway Drive, Sabine Pass
  • Memorial 9th Grade Academy, 2441 61st
  • Tyrrell Elementary, 4401 Ferndale
  • Port Arthur Public Library, 4615 Ninth Ave.
  • Port Arthur City Hall, Fourth St.
  • Abraham Lincoln Middle School, 1023 Abe Lincoln
  • Thomas Jefferson Middle School, 2200 Jefferson Drive.

City Council meeting moved

Tuesday’s regularly scheduled City Council meeting has been moved to Monday because of extended hours for early voting Tuesday.

Early voting is done on the fifth floor of City Hall, next to the City Council chambers. The meeting was moved to Monday to avoid any conflict with voting operations.

The City Council’s special executive meeting is at 4 p.m. Monday; the regular, public meeting follows at 5:30 p.m. Monday.