What few voters who did cast ballots in the opening days of early voting "have done their homework," according to election official Bee Johnson.
The first day of early voting, Monday, April 30, drew 26 voters. The second day had drawn only 16 voters with two hours left to vote on Tuesday.
The pace was "pretty slow," Johnson, a veteran of early voting, said.
The ballot "is a very cumbersome one; it will take some (voters) 15 minutes in the voting booth," she added.
The ballot includes seven pages on the e-slate ballot. It starts with one state constitutional amendment, followed by the Port Aransas Independent School District Board of Trustees election, the city's general election and, finally, 27 proposed amendments to the city charter.
Early voting will continue through Tuesday, May 8, at the Community Center, 408 N. Alister. Voting hours through tomorrow, Friday, May 4, will be 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Hours Saturday, May 5, will be 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., and on the final two days, Monday and Tuesday, May 7 and 8, hours will be 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Voters registered in Nueces County may cast early ballots at any of the early voting mobile locations throughout the county. Port Aransas voters should request a Port Aransas/voting Precinct 19 ballot.
The mobile units will move around the county and have varying hours. Call the county clerk's office at (361) 888-0676 or go to www.co.nueces. tx.us/countyclerk/elections to get a list of mobile early voting locations and hours.
The race on the school board ballot for Place 5 is between retired Port Aransas High School English teacher Rita Reed and incumbent Chuck Borders who owns a property management company.
Incumbents in Places 4 and 6, Bob Smith and Rick Adams, are unopposed in their bids for re-election. Smith is involved in sales, and Adams is a banker.
Terms are for three years, and there are no limits on the number of a terms a trustee may serve.
Keith Donley is the lone candidate for Place 1, although incumbent Beverly Charles' name will be on the ballot. Charles withdrew from the race too late to have her name removed from the ballot. She expressed her support of Donley's candidacy in an ad in the March 29 edition of the South Jetty.
Rick Pratt is unopposed in his bid for re-election to Place 5, and Charles Bujan, candidate for Place 3 left vacant by the death of Jerry Watson, did not draw an opponent.
Jim Polewchak is filling in the Place 3 spot. He was appointed by the city council in February.
Pratt is an art gallery owner. Bujan is a retiree, and Donley is a Realtor.
Terms are for two years, and council members are limited to three consecutive terms.
Port Aransas voters will be asked to vote on 27 charter amendments. The amendments have been published in the South Jetty, which is publishing this week the third part of a four part series putting the amendments in layman's language.
Currently under Texas law, homeowners age 65 or older, or who have a disability, are eligible to have the amount of school property taxes they owe on their residence homestead frozen based on the amount they owed the year they qualified for the cap.
When the 79th Legislature passed school property tax cuts in 2006, elderly and disabled Texans whose school property taxes were already frozen did not receive a corresponding reduction in their school property taxes. Therefore, in order for elderly and disabled Texans to receive a proportional reduction in ad valorem taxes, an allowance must be made for such a reduction in the Texas Constitution.
This amendment would provide such a reduction for the 2006 and 2007 tax years. If approved, the amendment will expire Jan 1, 2009, which means that school tax reductions after the 2007 tax year would require another constitutional amendment.