Voters have until April 11 to register for May ballots

SMITH COUNTY (TYLER MORNING TELEGRAPH) - Residents have until April 11 to register to vote in the May 11 elections.

May elections include races and local options within cities and school districts, with races for school board trustees in Winona, Troup and Lindale, the legalization of beer and wine sales in Whitehouse and a $160.5 million bond proposal for Tyler ISD.

Tyler's city council election was canceled because the positions were uncontested in each race.

Smith County Elections Administrator Karen Nelson said May elections are typically "much slower," with voter registration and participation because they do not involve state or national races.

"There really hasn't been much activity," she said.

The Elections Office recently received about 200 mail ballot requests from residents 65 or older. The mail ballot applications were circulated to registered voters by Tyler Proud, which has voiced support for passage of the Tyler ISD bond proposal.

About 85,000 votes were cast in the November election. The county has 120,174 registered voters. May elections typically draw a fraction of the number of voters compared to November elections, depending on how many contested races and controversial items are on ballots, Mrs. Nelson said.

Leslie Strader, Tyler Proud vice president, said the group had participated in four voter registration drives in the past month. The four events netted 25 to 30 newly registered voters, according to the election office.
Ms. Strader described the level of interest in the TISD bond as "high."

"Everybody needs to vote, and not just in this election," she said. "We're all the better if we participate."

A representative from No More Excuses political action committee, which opposes the Tyler ISD bond, was unavailable for comment before press time.

Residents can register to vote at the Smith County Elections Office, 302 E. Ferguson St., in Tyler.


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