Every year, more or less, the editors write about the importance of voting in local elections, about how those votes have the most direct effect on people’s lives and wallets and about how every vote matters.

Based on the minuscule turnout for strictly local elections such as the one that culminated Saturday, most people are not moved by those arguments.

Michael A. Smith: 409-683-5206; michael.smith@galvnews.com


(10) comments

David Smith

This isnt the first time a COM bond election was a decided by a handful of votes a few years back it was defeated by 7 votes .. question...

Have the mail in ballots been counted?

It shouldnt take a week to count the remainder of the votes..

Bailey Jones

There's more to provisional votes than simply counting them. A provisional vote is made when someone fails to meet all of the requisites for voting. They may not have had their driver's license, for instance. Or the name or the address on the voter roll might be off because the voter just moved or got married. Or someone was wrongly removed from the voter rolls. These people have to be contacted and these discrepancies investigated before a provisional ballot can be counted. Normally, no one bothers if the number of provisional votes isn't enough to swing the election one way or the other.

Keith Gray

good information to know. thanks

Jose' Boix

It is interesting to look at the intricacies of not only the voting process, but the management of the votes. The County posts a Reconciliation Report that can be viewed/printed. This report shows the 13 Provisional Ballot that have to be individually checked/evaluated/counted - if deemed correct!

The Report also notes 202 Mail Ballots Sent. My understanding is that the May 15 date also covers Mailed Ballots timely posted, but received after May 6.

And the other interesting statistic is the number of Undervotes. The COM Bond Election report noted 102 Undervotes out of the Total 5,877 (1.74%). These are Ballots - like mine - that had the Option for the COM Bond and for COM’s Position 7. Undervotes counted under the COM Bond tally, are Ballots that did not have a FOR/AGAINST COM Bond vote! (136)

C. Patterson

I voted last week, looked on line to see that it was recorded and looking at the number of voted there was very poor participation. We have long struggled with voter atrophy in local elections when both council and Mayor are on the ballots, shame

Ted Gillis

Partially completed ballots are acceptable and are certainly valid. If a person wants to vote for a candidate but has no opinion about the bond, they can just vote for the candidate and leave the bond issue blank, and vice versa. There’s no stipulation that you have to complete the whole ballot.

Ray Taft

College of the Mainland’s bond referendum may have gone down in defeat on Election Day if they had voting locations in unincorporated areas.

Those unincorporated areas are left out of the free tuition ride that some cities have. Voters in unincorporated areas have to pay their own way at COM, so why vote to increase your taxes too. They may have voted against the bond in large numbers if there were voting locations in their neighborhoods.

Michelle Gerami

Ray, the Promise Scholarship is funded through public and private philanthropy. Those donors stipulate the guidelines, which may include city of residence or graduating high school. COM students do have access to a variety of scholarships and financial assistance. For instance, during this academic year, the College has distributed more than $700,000 in scholarships to a diverse population of students. Combined with tuition that hasn't been increased in more than 12 years, members of the community have access to an affordable, first-class education.

Ray Taft

The Promise Scholarship is limited to the city of residence. Bacliff is an unincorporated area paying taxes to COM.

Students attending Dickinson HS and living in Bacliff do not qualify for the Promise Scholarship because we do not live in a city that funds the program. That’s according to the board chairperson.

Jose' Boix

Only registered voters with Voter Registration Certificates (VRCs) with a COLG J051, J052, J053, J054 & J055 can vote in College of the Mainland elections. Polling locations are placed to serve voters in those areas. In addition, Galveston County was approved to use the Countywide Polling Place Program (CWPP) for the May 6, 2023, Uniform Election. As such, any Galveston County registered voter could vote anywhere in the County.

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