The Austin Police Department reports no issues that required their attention during the first day of early voting, Tuesday.
Amid long lines and record voter registration efforts, Austin Assistant Police Chief Joe Chacon told reporters Tuesday afternoon that no patrol officers have been dispatched to polling sites so far.
Police officials and city leaders expressed concern this week about election-related unrest. But so far, Chacon said there have been no specific threats in Austin that raise concern.
"Austin Police Department will be prepared if something comes up," Chacon said.
The department is "adequately staffed" for election patrol efforts, Chacon said, despite no additional staffing made available.
APD will not provide an active role in site security, with no officers assigned or stationed to actively monitor polling sites, Chacon said. Instead, polling judges are located at each site and have been trained when it might be necessary to contact authorities.
Patrol officers have been made aware of polling location sites and will manage long lines that potentially become a safety hazard for voters and passing motorists.
"However, they are not there to take any action other than that," Chacon said.
Early voting runs from Oct. 13-30 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. on Sundays. Election Day voting takes place 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Nov. 3.
More on voting:
- 5 things Austin learned about voting in a pandemic - austonia ›
- College athletes get Election Day off led by Chris Bosh - austonia ›
- Austonia's 2020 voter guide: polling places, interesting races ... ›
- Where to vote early in Travis County in the 2020 election - austonia ›
- 20 candidates will vie for five Austin City Council seats this November ›
- Austin businesses reward you for voting early in Travis County - austonia ›
- Registering to vote for Austin's May 1 propositions election - austonia ›
- San Marcos favorite Industry Burger opens "mid-October" on E. 5th, featuring "low key healthy" Texas fare.
- Still Austin Whiskey Co. introduces "The Artist," its new rye whiskey.
- Domain NORTHSIDE favorites Bakery Lorraine, Grimaldi's Pizzeria, Jeni's Ice Cream and Sprinkles released their fall flavors.
- Cinnaholic at The Arboretum opens Friday, October 14, serving "create your own" cinnamon rolls and other sweet treats.
- San Francisco's Marufuku Ramen opens next Wednesday, October 12, in the Mueller District.
- Carpenter Hotel announces its popup food truck, Lil Carpenter, open Fri-Sun both ACL weekends, serving what you want, early to late, coffee to donuts, to dogs/burgers/fries/beer.
With major entertainment events slated for October, the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport is gearing up for a busy month.
Artists and music lovers are set to pack into Zilker Park for The Austin City Limits Music Festival in the coming two weekends. Following that, Formula One will bring racing fans to the Circuit of the Americas.
For those two events, the airport is anticipating high passenger days with 30,000 or more people departing flights.
ABIA recommends arriving at least two and a half hours in advance for domestic flights on those days. For ACL, it's expected on both Sundays of the festival along with the Monday and Tuesday after. The F1-driven high passenger days are expected on Oct. 20-21 and Oct. 23-26.
\u201c#AustinCityLimits visitors, you\u2019re in for a weird and wild ride \ud83e\udd18\u262e\ufe0f \n\nFlying in or out of our airport? We got firm and fun tips for you: https://t.co/RawVRalOXN\u201d— Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS) (@Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS)) 1664894083
F1, especially, could draw in loads of travelers as the three-day event saw 400,000 attendees last year. ABIA warns that highways leading to the airport may see even higher traffic than usual around the event and that travelers should plan their route accordingly.
Bailey Grimmett, a spokesperson for ABIA, said travel numbers come in 24 hours in advance. So, it's hard to predict if the airport will see travel volumes at the same levels that have happened around previous F1 races or if it'll top ACL's flight traffic.
Still, she says historical knowledge points to a chance for it.
“We've had that Monday after F1 break the record for single busiest in airport history," Grimmett said. "So context clues I would say yes, but I can't confirm that. But the historical background points to that."
In anticipation of the high volume of flyers, the airport received additional TSA officers for security screening through the end of October. To prepare even further, the Department of Aviation and partners hosted a job showcase and hiring fair to address the continued labor shortage the airport has experienced.
Relief from hectic travel days is on the horizon with November likely to see a slowdown.
"I don't anticipate it will be as busy as October just because we don't have as many events going on," Grimmett said. "Thanksgiving is kind of our primary holiday that we see a lot of passengers coming in and out of the airport."