Hours before the polls close, East Texans file in to vote - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

Hours before the polls close, East Texans file in to vote

East Texans headed to the polls Saturday to cast their votes. In Smith county the focus was on the Tyler ISD bond proposal.

Supporters and opposition groups have peppered Tyler with signs, urging people to vote, and have spent the last two months trying to get their message to voters.

"I think it is very important and I just hope everybody will get out to vote today," said Kay Blow.

Blow is one of hundreds who came out to let their voices be heard on the Tyler ISD bond issue.

"I don't want these children in these portable buildings anymore," said Blow.

She is not alone. Buck Files is a former teacher who said it would be devastating if the bond did not pass.

"I cannot imagine being a teacher in those temporary buildings being overcrowded and the people of Tyler not standing up and saying we need to make a change here," said Files.

Tom Ragland and his wife said they retired after thirty years of teaching in a Louisiana school district that saw many renovations.

"We know the importance of schools to a community; it's the life of community," Ragland said.

He said there was a huge difference after the schools in Louisiana received renovations.

"The safety and the comfort of the students, learning environment, it all improved," Ragland said.

However, another former teacher who voted on Saturday said improvements could be made elsewhere.

"I taught 14 years. I do realize it's nice to have a beautiful campus, but it's not necessary. It takes excellence in teaching and students that come to school willing to learn and you've got to have those things. Buildings are just kind of icing on the cake. I will say though, Tyler has dragged it's feet on updating the campuses for many, many years," said Liz Chamness.

Chamness said even if you do not have a student in one of these schools, it's still important to vote.

"It has to do with taxes and that effects everyone," Chamness said.

The Smith County Elections Office said 4,392 people voted early in this election.

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