Early Voting: Day One Results
Less than half a percent of voters make it to the ballot box
By Richard Whittaker, 11:37AM, Tue. Oct. 22
So much for an engaged electorate. Travis County continues its long tradition of sub par election turnout with less than half a percent of registered voters either making it to the ballot box or returning their mail-in ballot.
This morning the Travis County Elections Division released the first numbers for early voting in the November 4 election, and only 0.45% of the county's 618,200 registered residents have cast their ballot.
Low turnout elections are extremely volatile, since it all depends on whose base is most energized, rather than necessarily accurately reflecting the general political consensus. That could make life interesting in House District 50, where three Democrats – Rico Reyes, Celia Israal and Jade Chang Shepard – face off against sole Republican Mike VanDerWalle. The race is to finish off Mark Strama's term after he quite the legislature to run Google Fiber's Austin expansion. Whoever wins (if they dodge a seemingly inevitable run-off) will have the incumbent's advantage when the seat is back on the ballot in November 2014. In an ominous sign for all four campaigns, so far the Pflugerville County Tax Office – arguably the heart of the district – saw only 100 votes cast yesterday.
That's far from the only major issue on the ballot. There's also a glut of constitutional amendments, including Prop. 6 – the first real proposal to put state money into Texas' water infrastructure in decades.
|Travis County Voters||In Person||Mail In Ballots||Total||%age registered voters|
Early voting continues through Friday, Nov. 1 and election day is Tuesday, Nov. 5. Read our endorsements here.
For more info, visit www.austinchronicle.com/elections.