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Hearing could determine fate of BISD board election
Update: A judge is deciding whether voters in the Beaumont school district will go to the polls in November.
Judge Donald Floyd listened to arguments from attorneys for BISD and lawyers for three board challengers.
There are questions about whether the board waited too long to set a November election date, and whether three incumbents -- board president Woodrow Reese and trustees Terry Williams and Zenobia Bush -- missed the deadline for filing.
At times today, the two sides argued. The biggest debate is whether a November election would be fair or whether it would discriminate against minority voters.
The court could decide a couple of different issues including whether to go forward with a November vote or void the election because the board waited to long to set a November date and also which map to use for the election -- one with seven single districts or one with five districts and two at-large seats.
A witness for the district testified that a five-two plan under consideration would discriminate against minority voters.
He said it wouldn't allow for African-Americans or Latinos to vote for the candidate of their choice.
Judge Floyd didn't make a decision.
He'll continue the hearing one week from today.
BEAUMONT - A judge is holding a hearing that could determine whether voters go to the polls this November in a Beaumont ISD board election.
Judge Donald Floyd is holding the hearing Wednesday at the Jefferson County Courthouse. The judge is listening to testimony from BISD and attorneys for three board challengers.
If Judge Floyd orders an election, there are several possibilities, including an election with all seven seats up for a vote, or five single-member district and two at-large seats.
There's also the question of whether three incumbents, board president Woodrow Reece and trustees Terry Williams and Zenobia Bush, would be on the ballot. They missed a filing deadline earlier this year. The incumbents said they didn't think their seats were up for a vote.
Reporter Leslie Rangel is covering Wednesday's hearing.