Early voting in local elections in Fort Bend County and across the state kicked off Monday and continue through Tuesday, May 2, although voters were fairly sparse at at least one polling place. Poll workers at the Missouri City Visitors Center said that there had been only a trickle of voters by midday.

Election Day is May 6, but with few marquee races on the ballot in Fort Bend, turnout may be low, despite some fairly consequential items on the ballot.

Perhaps the single largest item is Fort Bend ISD's $1.3 billion bond referendum, the largest in the district's history. The referendum is split into three three separate items, and includes rebuilding older schools, constructing new campuses, and making major repairs at existing campuses, plus replacing older buses and adding a Smart Tag System to allow parents to track bus riders. The bond also includes IT systems and devices, campus security and a natatorium in the southeast area of the district.

While there has been little in the way of organized opposition to the bond, the district is still smarting from last November's failure of a voter approval tax rate election that would have allowed the district to use extra tax revenues to reduce a $47 million budget shortfall.

Since then, the FBISD administration has been engaged in large budget cuts, but has warned that a failure to pass the bond would result in having to use operating funds to take care of long-deferred maintenance and other issues. If the May referendum fails, district officials have said there might be another attempt in November.

Meanwhile, nine candidates are vying for three seats on the Fort Bend ISD Board of Trustees.

Position 1 incumbent Angie Hanan is being challenged by Oscar Saenz. Position 4 incumbent Dr. Shirley Rose-Gilliam is being challenged by Cheryl Anne Buford. Position 5 incumbent Denetta Williams is being challenged by Rolly DeMeza, former board member Allison Drew, Angel Hicks and Sonya Jones.

In the City of Stafford. three sitting City Council members - Mayor Pro Tem Don Jones, Wen Guerra and Ken Mathew - are vying to replace incumbent Cecil Williams in the top seat he as held since winning a special election shortly after the 2020 death of longtime Mayor Leonard Scarcella.

Meanwhile, six candidates are vying for four seats on the Council. Position 5 incumbent Xavier Herrera is being challenged by Jason Mejorado. Tim Wood and Mathew Vairamon are running for the open Position 6 seat currently held by mayoral candidate Ken Mathew. In a special election, former Council members Arthur "A.J." Honoree and Virginia Rosas are vying for the Position 2 seat currently held by Guerra. Christopher Caldwell is running unopposed for the Position 4 seat currently held by Jones.

In Stafford Municipal School District elections, Edward Rector and Adam Sanchez are running for Position 6. Jacqueline Jean-Baptiste is running unopposed for Position 7.

In Lamar Consolidated School District board elections, Jacci Hotzel and Craig LeTulle are running to fill the open Position 4 seat currently held by Joy Williams. Position 5 incumbent Jon Welch is being challenged by Brian Moore, while Position 7 incumbent and board president Alex Hunt is being challenged by Suzanne Box.

There are also several municipal utility district and other elections on various ballot across the county.

Information about polling locations and times and sample ballots by precinct can be found at fortbendcountytx.gov.

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