ALCS Game 1

Fans in Keuchel’s Korner cheer after Houston Astros starting pitcher Dallas Keuchel recorded a strikeout in the top of the first inning during Game 1 of the American League Championship Series against the New York Yankees on Oct. 13 at Minute Maid Park in Houston.

Another Election Day came and went and too few noticed. This is troubling in not only Galveston County, but also across Texas and the nation.

First of all, thanks to all who took the time to be informed about the issues, candidates and choices before them. We applaud you.

On the other side of the equation is a participation level of everyone else. According to final, but unofficial, totals, only 10,750 voters cast ballots during early voting and on Election Day. Mathematically, that is a miserable percentage.

Granted this was what many call an off cycle, or nonpresidential, election. But the reality is of a population of 300,000 residents, big decisions were determined by a crowd that, if seated in Minute Maid Park watching the Astros, would occupy only 25 percent of the ballpark. Hot dog vendors would have a bad night, to say the least.

We are not here to beat up the electorate, but rather point out if we decide to not participate in elections that include such important issues as $80 million in bonds, we need to accept the outcomes without complaining.

Even in Galveston, where two hotly debated school board positions were up for grabs, slightly more than 1,000 votes were cast in total. Again, not picking sides, only pointing out if someone did not get out, get educated and cast a vote, complaining about the outcome is rather hypocritical.

In case you missed it, the $80 million bond will be three separate bond propositions, voters overwhelmingly approved $56 million for road projects and $6 million for flood control. This decision has far-reaching potential for the county and is one The Daily News endorsed last month. We feel this is a good move as it addresses road, drainage and facility improvements — and after Harvey, the need is only amplified.

In a world of political decisiveness, getting out to vote is a basic and important part of helping shape our future — whether that be locally, statewide or on the national stage. We salute those who took the time to get out and participate in this week’s election.

For those who stayed home and decided not to participate by casting a vote, we’d encourage you to get engaged and help shape your community, state and nation in coming elections. If you don’t, someone else will.

• Leonard Woolsey

Editor note: For the record, and as best as we can determine, the lowest attendance for an Astros game in Minute Maid Park was 14,195 fans against the Rockies in 2012. The team finished with 55 wins and 107 losses that season.

Leonard Woolsey: 409-683-5207; leonard.woolsey@galvnews.com

President & Publisher of The Galveston County Daily News.

(13) comments

Steve Fouga

My wife and I voted in Galveston. The school board elections either did not show up on our our ballots, or else we both missed them.

We marked our ballots for the amendments and the bonds, and then the system asked us to confirm our choices. We did, and that was that. We never saw a mention of the school board. We hadn't intended on voting in those elections anyway, so neither of us missed it at the time. Later, we wondered why they hadn't shown up.

Carlos Ponce

Correct me if I'm wrong but I believe GISD has single member districts. Steve, do you live one of the single member school district divisions up for election this year? If so, you should have asked the election judge. Too late now.

Steve Fouga

You are correct and, as you surmise, ours was not up for election. Problem solved.

Mark Aaron

Carlos: [do you live one of the single member school district divisions up for election this year?]

Aha, that explains it. Thanks for the facts Carlos. Like Steve, I was wondering why the candidates didn't show up on my ballot.

Carlos Ponce

That's the reason for the low turnout at school board elections. People get confused. Some want to vote in every Board of Trustees election like in the old days when every member ran at-large. They get upset when they can't vote in that particular election but their across street or down the street neighbor can. Others don't know which single member district they live in so don't vote.
A map of GISD single member districts is found at:
https://www.gisd.org/Page/9603

David Smith

300,000 eligable voters .. ....10,000 voted. ( 3 %) and people say your vote doesnt count?

Steve Fouga

300,000 residents, not eligible voters. But still. Embarrassing.

Kelly Naschke

What is the relevance of comparing voter turnout to a baseball game?

Jose' Boix

On the November 4, 2008 ballot we voters approved $75 Million for Road Improvements, $15 Million for Drainage Improvements and $45 Million for Facilities Improvements and New Construction. On the November 6, 2017 we voters approved another $80 Million.

It would great to have posted a report showing the completion dates and actual costs of the 2008 projects. And, to have had some evaluation on how specially the $15Million in flood control projects worked during Harvey.

These 4 flood control projects were:

• Dickinson Bayou Clearing and De-snagging,
• Mud Gully Retention Basin to reduce flooding by 1 foot on Clear Creek,
• Dickinson Bayou Watershed Regional Drainage; and,
• FM 646 Drainage Improvement

Carlos Ponce

According to state figures there were 208,232 Registered Voters in 2016 In Galveston County.
In 2016 124,547 actually voted or 59.81%.
http://www.sos.texas.gov/elections/historical/galveston.shtml

Jose' Boix

http://www.galvestonvotes.org/2017_Elections/November_General/ElectionNightResults.pdf
According to this URL the number of registered voters voting in the Nov. 6 Galveston County elections was 10.750.
According to the https://www.sos.state.tx.us/elections/historical/galveston.shtml the number of Registered Voters in 2017 was 208,032.
So dividing 10,750/208,032 = 5.16% voter voting. Therefore, 5% decided for the 95%.

Jose' Boix

Rather than dwell on the low voting turn out, we need to focus on the visibility and accountability of all these bonds. We keep voting "for" these bonds and Constitutional amendments, and most of us do not know if they are working as defined. As an aside, it is also time to get our Legislators to re-work the Texas Constitution. Voting for the allowance of raffles twice is beyond rational thinking on what a Constitution should guide us. I believe the Constitution should focus on the "what" and let the local laws define the "how." Just my thoughts.

Mark Aaron

Jose': [I believe the Constitution should focus on the "what" and let the local laws define the "how." Just my thoughts.]

Yes, it sounds like the Texas Constitution could use with a rewrite and the minutia moved into statutes somehow.

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