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CHRIS DUQUE — Election information you can use; turnout we can improve

“Someone struggled for your right to vote. Use it.” — Susan B. Anthony

On Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020, we will have the opportunity to exercise one of our fundamental civic responsibilities – voting. No City of Nederland offices are on the ballot in November, but the City will participate in the general election.

The Marion & Ed Hughes Public Library at 2712 Nederland Avenue will be an early voting polling location.

Other early voting sites in Jefferson County are: Beaumont Courthouse (1001 Pearl St. in Beaumont), Port Arthur Sub-courthouse (525 Lakeshore Dr. in Port Arthur), Rogers Park Recreation Center (6540 Gladys in Beaumont), Port Arthur Library (4615 Ninth Avenue in Port Arthur), Theodore Johns Library (4255 Fannett Road in Beaumont), John Paul Davis Community Center (3580 E Lucas in Beaumont), Groves Recreation Center (6150 39th Street in Groves), Effie & Wilton Hebert Library (2025 Merriman Street in Port Neches), J.P. Pct. 4 Building (19217 FM 365 in Beaumont), and Precinct One Service Center (20205 W. Hwy 90 in China).

The current early voting schedule is Tuesday/Oct. 13 through Friday/Oct. 16 and Monday/Oct. 19 through Saturday/Oct. 24, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., SundayOct. 25 between noon and 5 p.m. and Monday/Oct. 26 through Friday/Oct. 30 between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.

Registered voters in Jefferson County can early vote at any of these locations.

Election day is on Tuesday/Nov. 3; you can vote between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.; Nederland City Hall and the Marion & Ed Hughes Public Library will be polling locations.

As with early voting, registered voters in Jefferson County can vote at any polling location in the County on election day.

Per the City Charter, the City of Nederland’s elections are held in May.

City elections, which are non-partisan, are held for the Mayor and City Council seats, for referendums or special elections such as re-authorizing the street sales tax.

Because of state law, the City can partner with the Nederland Independent School District to hold joint elections.

City Councilmembers represent one of the four wards of the City, but all members, including the mayor, are elected at-large, meaning all residents of Nederland are eligible to vote for that position regardless if they reside in that ward or not.

The next general City election will be held in May 2022 (mayor, councilmember ward 2, and councilmember ward 4).

Historically, voting in municipal elections has been minimal.

In 2009, 2,984 ballots were cast with four individuals running for two offices; in 2010, 1,683 ballots were cast with four individuals running for three offices; in 2011, 1,594 ballots were cast with four individuals running for two offices; in 2015, 563 ballots were cast with three individuals running for two offices; and in 2019, 4,001 ballots were cast with six individuals running for four offices.

The elections in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017 and 2020 were cancelled due to all incumbents or candidates being unopposed.

National and state elections are important but so are local elections. On a day-to-day basis, the level of government citizens will deal with most directly is at the local level – streets needing paving, speeding in your neighborhood, etc.

Regardless of your political affiliation, please exercise your right to vote.

Vote in national, state and local elections.

If there are any questions regarding City operations, please contact the City Manager’s Office at 409-723-1503.

Chris Duque is city manager for Nederland. He can be reached at CDuque@ci.nederland.tx.us.