MCISD passes tax ratification

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Madisonville CISD passed a proposed restructure after Thursday’s Tax Ratification Election (TRE) by a total count of 312 votes in favor of the restructure and 79 against, joining North Zulch ISD in a similar TRE passage in July.

The MCISD board voted to hold the TRE at their monthly meeting for July. The passage will not result in a tax increase, but restructure the M&O and I&S taxes without changing the actual rate. By doing this, MCISD becomes eligible for a significantly higher amount of funding from the state.

The M&O balance will be 1.17 with the I&S set at 0.0487. 79.8 percent of voters were in favor of the ratification with 20.2 percent opposed.

While the ratification passed, one of the most intriguing things to consider after the election is the lack of voter participation. Just 391 of 6,392, or 6.12 percent, of registered voters made their ways to the polls to make their voices heard. This was a similar issue for the TRE in North Zulch in July, where just 88 citizens casted a ballot.

“There is always a lot of talk about voter fraud, but our biggest problem is voter apathy,” said Madison County Elections Administrator Earl Parker. “The one place where every one is equal is the voting booth. Your status does not matter, whether you are rich or poor, you get one vote.”

Because a TRE is a unique occurrence, Parker cannot compare either of those in Madisonville and North Zulch to something in the past. However, he did state that voter turnout has stayed consistently low since he has been involved.

“I have been voting all my life along with other older people in the area," saId Parker. “Younger people usually believe they have better things to do and do not see importance with one person and one vote. They do not believe that one vote will count, but it certainly will not count if they do not cast it at all.”

Voter apathy is not just apparent in Madison County, but in the entire state of Texas as well. Year after year, Texans rank near the bottom nationally in electoral participation, with turnout falling even more in non-presidential elections.

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