Next Tuesday is a big ticket vote for the Gulfport School District, and the following Tuesday is the primary election. One voter is worried the community will not participate due to the separate dates. Next week, Gulfport voters will cast their vote on a $41.2 million bond to redo Gulfport High School.
Richard Mathers of Gulfport was being surveyed for the upcoming senator race when he noticed something. Mathers says, “I realized it was two different dates, and I’m going to have to take off two different dates to go vote.” School district officials say they are having this special election the Tuesday before the primary election to give themselves time to plan if it is approved, so voters would have to hit the polls the day after Memorial Day. Glen East, the Superintendent of the Gulfport School District, says, “We wanted to do this before school was out so we would have summer to plan.” Superintendent East says they chose to separate the election because the voting zones for the primary and school elections are different.
East also says, “The only people who can vote have to live in the Gulfport School District, if you had that, you would have to have turned someone away on the ballot.” Mathers is concerned that with separate days, voters that fund the school district projects may find it hard to get to the polls. Mathers also says, “Employers, it’ll be hard to take off. You’re already having a short week, with somebody taking time off to go vote, usually the day after a holiday is a busy day at work.” Mathers says taxpayers need to vote on issues in the community, but he's concerned with the timing.
He closes, “I don’t know if we'll get the participation, it being the Tuesday after the holiday.” The bond approval vote for Gulfport High School is May 27th.