Place 3 by Precinct

A winning strategy loses, and which precincts saw the biggest increases in votes?

Place 3 by Precinct

Power Boxes Overpowered

As always, we take a look at what we call the "power boxes" – those precincts that produce the most votes. Usually, a strong run in these boxes – which tend to be in West Austin – is a formula for success.

Looking at this map, however, one can see that this didn't work out for Shade. She conquered West Austin, and of the top 20 power boxes, she took 11 (see list, below). The problem for her, though, was that Tovo took nearly everything else.

The voting precincts are numbered according to which Travis County Commis­sion­ers Court precinct they fall in: i.e., all boxes in Ron Davis' Precinct 1 are numbered in the 100s, all boxes in Margaret Gómez's Precinct 4 are in the 400s, and so on. In Court Precinct 1, Tovo nearly pulled a complete sweep, winning all but five boxes (one of which was a tie and another two had no votes). She came close to those numbers in Court Precinct 4, failing to win only six (again, one was a tie and another had no votes). Winning West Austin is usually a good strategy, but it's not enough on its own. – Lee Nichols


Top Boxes

PrecinctVotesWinner%
342950Tovo65.1%
256831Shade67.9%
253723Shade57.0%
332702Tovo72.2%
354671Tovo51.6%
231643Shade59.9%
251614Shade55.4%
278604Shade59.4%
239600Tovo71.2%
135593Tovo57.5%
242589Tovo67.7%
262585Shade55.4%
367584Shade59.6%
236564Tovo64.7%
237551Shade62.6%
273539Tovo58.8%
214537Shade55.1%
347523Shade64.6%
210521Shade55.3%
152506Tovo61.5%

Election Results: First Round vs. Run-off

JUNE 18 RUN-OFF

EarlyElection DayTotal
Kathie Tovo13,648 (55.0%)10,263 (58.1%)23,911 (56.3%)
Randi Shade11,183 (45.0%)7,411 (41.9%)18,594 (43.8%)
Total votes24,83117,67442,505

GENERAL ELECTION

Kathie Tovo6,230 (43.3%)8,619 (48.9%)14,849 (46.4%)
Randi Shade4,883 (34.0%)5,651 (32.0%)10,534 (32.9%)
Total votes*14,38617,63232,018

* includes tallies for Max Nofziger and Kris Bailey

The biggest number in the run-off was the 73% surge in early voting, which drew 10,500 more voters than in the general, including an unusual number of voters who hadn't voted in recent city elections, according to one source. Apparently those voters broke for Tovo, as what had been a 1,347-vote lead in May's early voting ballooned to a 2,465-vote cushion this time around. And there went the election-night suspense, because Shade was never going to do as well as Tovo on election day. Overall, Tovo's margin over Shade was 1,000 votes greater than it had been in May, but a bit down in percentage, dropping from a 13.5% lead to 12.5%. In the end, Tovo's 23,911 votes were more than either Chris Riley or Laura Morrison got in May. – Nick Barbaro


Turn Out the (Same) Vote

The strangest thing about this run-off was that voting actually increased over the general election. That's a rarity – turnout usually plummets from the first round to the second. Listed here are the 20 precincts where the number of votes increased the most.

Shade's run-off loss certainly wasn't due to lack of effort – she clearly put in a strong get-out-the-vote effort. In fact, her voters actually increased by a greater percentage (77%) than Tovo's (61%). And as seen in the chart, those precincts with the biggest vote gains often favored Shade: She took 13 of that top 20. Still, she couldn't overcome Tovo's early lead and broader base of citywide support.

Only a handful of precincts experienced a drop in turnout, led by Rollingwood's box 347, which drew 657 voters in May but only 523 on Saturday with no Eanes ISD election to draw them to the polls. – L.N.


Precincts With Biggest Gains

PrecinctRun-off votesGeneral election votesGainRun-off winner (%)
256831495336Shade (67.9)
253723472251Shade (57.0)
354671425246Tovo (51.6)
278604367237Shade (59.4)
214537303234Shade (55.1)
342950716234Tovo (65.1)
251614402212Shade (55.4)
367584382202Shade (59.6)
210521338183Shade (55.3)
262585404181Shade (55.4)
231643466177Shade (59.9)
237551379172Shade (62.6)
337453282171Shade (53.2)
366476305171Shade (54.2)
239600437163Tovo (71.2)
332702539163Tovo (72.2)
328474318156Tovo (51.1)
273539387152Tovo (58.8)
327425275150Shade (59.8)
334463313150Tovo (57.2)

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  

READ MORE
More City Council
Can Council Get Its Sh*t Done by 10pm?
Can Council Get Its Sh*t Done by 10pm?
Austin City Council addresses a 93-item agenda Sept. 15 and aims to end by 10pm rather than voting to extend the meeting

Austin Sanders, Sept. 16, 2022

Council Recap: No Deal on License Plate Readers
Council Recap: No Deal on License Plate Readers
Decisions on surveillance, Statesman PUD, and parkland dedication fees all postponed

Austin Sanders, Sept. 9, 2022

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

More by Nick Barbaro
Public Notice: More Drama in Hays County
Public Notice: More Drama in Hays County
Plus APD at City Council, and what’s one man’s trash ...

Sept. 23, 2022

Public Notice: What’s Up With the Orange Line?
Public Notice: What’s Up With the Orange Line?
Plus, turtles and other pets in need

Sept. 16, 2022

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

power boxes, election, Randi Shade, Kathie Tovo, City Council

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
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