Unit Road Election Turnout Slim - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

05/07/05 - Angelina County

Unit Road Election Turnout Slim

by Chris Cato

By the look of the polling place at the Tax Office in Lufkin, you wouldn't think it was election day. The sad truth is that by noon Saturday, only 6 people have come to the polling place to cast their ballot.

Vinez Minton, an Election Judge, said, "I guess we make a choice and some people take some elections priority and some don't take it that seriously I think."

With all the hype about the Unit Roads System, you would think many would have come out to vote. In the early election, over 1,700 people cast their ballot, but compare those numbers to the total number of registered voters in Angelina County and it seems the few are deciding for the many.

Minton said, "I don't know whether they have less interest or the timing just wasn't right. Different things going on, activities going on."

At other polling places, the count wasn't going much better. At the fire station in Hudson, there were three precincts voting together. By noon they didn't have much more than 50 votes.

Don East, an Election Alternate Judge, said, "it's been on Saturday so we don't know what...usually elections are not on Saturdays so we don't know."

Some say for an election that will affect all of Angelina County, the numbers that are coming in are pretty slim. And while you have to consider that timing may be an issue, many actually have more time on a Saturday to get to the polls.

If approved, the unit roads system would place all the roads in Angelina County under a Road Administrator. It would also consolidate all the current road maintenance resources of the county commissioners.

If it is not approved, the roads will continue under the current system, where county commissioners will take care of the roads in their precincts.

Some commissioners say the unit road system would cost the taxpayers more to consolidate everything. And they say it would also mean some services wouldn't be provided anymore.

Others say the unit road system would help maintain the county roads by bringing in an expert road administrator to do the job rather than the commissioners.

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