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WHY WE DON’T VOTE

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With a fairly important election behind us and Memorial Day looming in our near future, perhaps it is a good time to examine our voting
habits. Surprisingly Texas City voters show up at about the same rate as the rest of the country but that isn’t saying much. On the upside, the Texas City School Bond received the highest number of votes of any of the items on the ballot, and it passed by almost 70% of the votes. The down side is the number of people who actually cast their vote either way. With a current population in Texas City and La Marque combined of 64719, and considering approximately 60% is of voting age, that gives us about 38,000 possible voters. Of that, there were 3,796 votes cast, or about 10% turnout which, surprisingly is about average across the country. So, considering the fact that one of the very basic tenets of our Constitution is the right to vote, why is it that so few of us actually vote. Statistics say most people eligible to vote are quite interested in
politics yet only 20% are actually registered. During the 2004 and 2008 national elections, there was a push to allow people to register
and vote at the same time. That increased voter turnout. But by 2012, the turnout was back to hovering around 10%. So what is it that has soured the American people on one of our most precious rights? Why do we no longer see voting as a privilege and a responsibility? Presidential elections usually attract about 50% of the population and that has been so since the early 1900’s except for a brief time in the 60’s when the percentage topped 60% for the entire decade. Unfortunately it is the off seasons when we really tank. Democrats are notorious
for being a no show and now Republicans seem to be following suit. Nonetheless, our airwaves are filled with this scandal and that lie. It’s the best soap opera going. Unfortunately we don’t seem to take it seriously and perhaps that is because the coverage is round the clock ad nauseum. But as we found out not too long ago, there are local issues that really matter to us. There are decisions to be made that will affect us and our neighbors for a long time to come. And we are asking citizens just like us to represent us; show up for us; make decisions for us. But not all of them. One other opportunity is coming that will have a tremendous impact on not just Texas City, but Santa Fe, La Marque, Dickinson and Hitchcock for sure. And surrounding areas may well benefit too. There is a bond election coming in November that is designed to address the shortages in space and equipment at College of the Mainland. They are taking “large strides to modernize our aging facilities even as we implement innovative academic initiatives and finalize an academic “master plan” for the future.” Over the next few months we will be sharing information on the progress the Advisory Committee is making as we direct you to the website www.COMPASS2025.com for pictures and additional information regarding their master plan. We hope to keep you well advised as to the progress and for your part, we simply ask that you register to vote so that your voice can be heard this November. We may not have much say so when it comes to national politics but each of us is a vital part of what goes on in our own front yard!

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