Less than nine percent in Fort Bend County rule
By Elsa Maxey
The votes from this month’s November 5th General Election will have soon been canvassed making them official. In Fort Bend, of the 343,398 registered voters the turnout was 8.68 percent, a classic low. That’s who decided on the governance of the entities impacting Fort Bend and had a voice this go round on policy making for the items on the ballot. Fort Bend County Elections Administrator John Oldham told the “Star” that a total of 12,266 voted early in person and 234 by mail.
All nine Texas constitutional amendments passed statewide, and those voting in Fort Bend were in accord, but close to being split on one of them, Proposition 3 – allowing extension of exemption from inventory taxes for aircraft parts. That vote shows 58.27 percent in favor and 41.73 against. Of all of them statewide, that amendment also showed the least support, 57.73 percent.
Locally, Fort Bend voters overwhelmingly voted in favor of the $184.9 million mobility bond for road, bridge and related infrastructure construction. The county is expecting to continue to grow at a rapid pace and the current mobility conditions over the past couple of years and supporting census data are a clear indication of more of that growth to come. Fort Bend County Commissioners reported that it plans no tax increase related to the approval of this bond measure – probably some say was the reason for its great support.
In Sugar Land, voters approved only two of three $50 million bond propositions on the ballot – a connecting network of hike-and-bike trails ($10.16 million) and the second phase of the Brazos River park and festival site ($21.3 million).
Oldham, of the county’s elections administration, told the “Star” that it “had few ID related issues on Election Day or during the early voting period” for the new photo voter ID law used for the first time on a statewide election. He said that at one site, a voter who had ID refused to show it, “standing on principle.” That person probably did not vote since there were no provisionals (voting allowed with questions about IDs requiring affidavits affirming identity) from that voting site. This person who “could have (voted) if they so desired, but since they were trying to make a point,” it probably would have been counterproductive from the person’s viewpoint to vote provisionally, said Oldham.
The number of people in Fort Bend County with a new Electronic Identification Certificate as a form of ID is unknown at this time, according to Oldham. Reportedly in Fort Bend, it was estimated that at least 40 percent of early voters signed affidavits for provisional voting calling attention to discrepancies between voters’ names on a photo ID and in the voter registry.
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