Howard-Neil Race Still Twisting in Wind

Lots of ballots still to be counted

District 48 incumbent Donna Howard checks returns on Election Night.
District 48 incumbent Donna Howard checks returns on Election Night. (photo by John Anderson)

Dist. 48 state Rep. Donna Howard and her supporters celebrated when final tallies Tuesday night showed her with a 15-vote edge over Republican challenger Dan Neil. They shouldn't have – because the counting wasn't really over. The county still has to review possibly hundreds of ballots to determine if they're eligible to be counted.

While talk Tuesday night was of a recount, that might be a moot point. Since almost all of Travis County's ballots are cast electronically, the totals likely wouldn't change.

Ballots still uncounted are the bigger issue. These include provisional ballots (ballots cast by voters whose eligibility to vote was in question) and mail-in ballots received since Election Day. The county's Elections Division announced that 112 ballots were presented to the Ballot Board today for consideration.

Of even bigger concern to Howard: 3,059 mail ballots are still outstanding, 679 of which are Distric 48 ballots. State law requires that ballots mailed from overseas by November 2 must be received at the county clerk’s office no later than 5pm Monday, November 8.

Those ballots could be trouble for Howard: Overseas ballots are often from soldiers serving abroad, and the military ballot trends Republican. Certainly, a 15-ballot lead will provide the incumbent little comfort.

Got something to say? The Chronicle welcomes opinion pieces on any topic from the community. Submit yours now at

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Elections
Round Rock (ISD) Just Don't Stop: The Affair of the Forged Letter
Round Rock (ISD) Just Don't Stop: The Affair of the Forged Letter
Election shenanigans erupt on Facebook over weekend

Brant Bingamon, Nov. 7, 2022

Early Voting Locations and Voter ID Info
Early Voting Locations and Voter ID Info
Find your nearest polling location and know what to bring with you

Oct. 14, 2019

More Election 2010
The Definition of Voter Eligibility
The Definition of Voter Eligibility
Could Dan Neil challenge the HD48 result?

Richard Whittaker, Dec. 8, 2010

Donna Howard Still the Winner
Donna Howard Still the Winner
Dist. 48 incumbent increases lead by one vote

Lee Nichols, Nov. 8, 2010

More by Lee Nichols
From the Music Desk
From the Music Desk
On Willie, Billy, Stevie Ray, Blaze, and more highlights from four decades of covering Austin music

Sept. 3, 2021

Game Changer
Game Changer
A new football culture for Austin bars

Oct. 23, 2015


Elections, Election 2010, Donna Howard, Dan Neil

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Behind the scenes at The Austin Chronicle

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle