According to figures released Friday night, the turnout for the early voting period for the Nov. 5 (Tuesday) election didn't reach flood stage, but at nearly 35,000 was slightly better than expected, and should give election day voters a target to shoot for.
According to the figures released Friday, during the 12-day early voting period, 34,888 Austinites voted early, or 5.64% of registered Travis County voters.
While that may sound dismal - it is - it actually bodes better than what had been anticipated earlier by various internal election polls. As Richard Whittaker reported this week ("Lonely at the Polls"), consultants working the constitutional amendments and other campaigns said their polling was estimating an 8.2% overall turnout. We haven't hit that yet, but if election day balloting can roughly double the early turnout (as is fairly common), Travis County voters could exceed 10%!
Not exactly a cause for celebration, but perhaps better than to be expected for an election that features nine state constitutional amendments with one major issue (Prop. 6, the water fund), one interim special election to the state House (HD 50), a handful of local initiatives in small jurisdictions - and one unique, prominent city proposition for $65 million in affordable housing bonds.
The heaviest voting locations included the Randall's at Research & Braker Lane (5,032), the Ben Hur Shriners Hall off Anderson Lane (2,705), the Randall's at South MoPac and William Cannon (2,609), the Randall's at Brodie and Slaughter (2,039), and the Travis County offices on Airport Blvd. (2,028). More detail is available on the Clerk's web site.
For inspirational material to get you and your friends motivated come Tuesday morning, you will also see on the Clerk's election site the exhortation from Nelson Mandela, reposted above.
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