Election Day One: Turnout Low, Slow

Little sign of unified election day boost

Election Day One: Turnout Low, Slow

When the City of Austin and Austin ISD voted to move their elections to November, to coincide with the general election, hopes were high that it would boost participation. With the first day early voting totals in, it seems those hopes may have been optimistic for overall turnout, but it's a good sign for municipal engagement.

The Travis County Elections Division reports that 17,186 votes were recorded today: 10,257 in person, and 6,929 mail-in ballots received, for a total turnout of 2.63%. If this pattern continues, then turnout should beat the 39.86% rate in November 2010, the last off-year election.

That's still down from the 20,935 (3.3%) on the first day of early voting in November 2012, but that number is skewed because it was a presidential year. However, it's up dramatically from the first day of the May 2012 elections: Even with a mayoral race on the ballot, that first day only pulled in 2,174 voters (0.45%). It's also a huge improvement over the May 2010 AISD races, when only 2.52% of registered voters turned out in total throughout the entire election. So while overall turnout is still less than stellar, at least more people are having their voices heard in these important races.

Follow our continuing election coverage at www.austinchronicle.com/elections

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

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 Election 2014
The Run-Off: Live Election Coverage
The Run-Off: Live Election Coverage
An historic race crosses the finish line

the News Staff, Dec. 16, 2014

Voting Turnout Bad, But How Bad?
Voting Turnout Bad, But How Bad?
Finding precedents for an unprecedented election

Richard Whittaker, Dec. 10, 2014

More City Council
Inching Toward Higher Heights to Get More Housing
Inching Toward Higher Heights to Get More Housing
Advocates for low-income tenants urge a go-slow approach

Maggie Q. Thompson, June 13, 2022

Council Recap: A Balanced Budget, Without Much Drama
Council Recap: A Balanced Budget, Without Much Drama
But many hours of deliberation over two days on the dais

Austin Sanders, Aug. 13, 2021

More by Richard Whittaker
Thor: Love and Thunder
The Slayer of Thanos becomes a lovesick clown in this mirthless sequel

July 8, 2022

Arthouse Single White Female is more form than concept

July 8, 2022


Election 2014, City Council, Austin ISD, Election November 2014

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