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After late surge in early voting period and squabbling over Prop B, more than 100,000 Austinites have cast their ballots
After a surge in the final two days of the early voting period that led to long lines at some polling places, a total of 103,832 Austin residents—or around 13.7% of registered voters—have cast their ballots in the May 1 local election, which typically sees low turnout. This represents nearly double the number of Austinites who voted early in the May 2016 local election but less than a third of the number who voted early in the November 2020 local election, according to the Travis County Clerk's Office.
Voters will determine the fate of eight propositions, including Proposition B, which would reinstate a ban on sitting, lying, camping and panhandling in certain areas, and Proposition F, which would change the city government from a strong-manager system to a strong-mayor one. More about the propositions can be found here.
The final two days of the early voting period did see a significant increase in turnout, accounting for around 42% of ballots cast.
For some voters, this meant atypically long lines.
Line at Austin Rec Center on Shoal Creek. Skate park providing excellent background noise. Wait seems to be around 35mins but line is getting longer (and closer to 🛹 🛹) pic.twitter.com/h3nw4x0GqT
— ATX May Elections: Early voting: April 19-27 (@cityjane) April 27, 2021
"The vote count should be representative of the community," Mayor Steve Adler tweeted on Monday, urging his followers to vote against Prop B in the tail end of the early voting period and on Election Day. "So far, those early voting are not. They're much, much older and much, much more Republican."
Some commenters took issue with Adler's message, arguing that it was dismissive of older or Republican voters and politicized Prop B, which has been spearheaded by Save Austin Now, a local political action committee led by the Travis County GOP Chairperson Matt Mackowiak and local Democratic activist Cleo Petricek.
Election Day is on Saturday. Polling locations, which will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., can be found here.
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- 1 1/2 oz of hibiscus-infused Tito's Handmade Vodka
- 2 oz sparkling water
- 1 oz fresh lime juice
- 3/4 oz simple syrup
- 1 tsp allspice dram
A week after Texas added two congressional seats and California lost one, state officials reported a population decline in 2020 for the first time in the Golden State's history.
California fell by over 182,000 people from January 2020 to January 2021, dropping almost 0.5% to cap out at around 39.5 million people. It is still the nation's most populous state.
For over thirty years, California has seen more people leave than move in from other states, state officials said, with 6.1 million people moving out and 4.9 million coming in last year. Immigration and births kept California growing, but the state saw a shrink in international migration in 2020 due to COVID and the White House's hold on visas.
Of the steady flow of ex-Californians moving to other states, more are moving to Texas than any other state. Many are relocating to Austin, which has been labeled a "little California" by billionaire resident Elon Musk and continues to grow astronomically.
Meanwhile, California cities including Los Angeles, San Diego, San Jose and San Francisco saw a population decline.
With immigration and state migration on the decline, the Golden State was also hit with a spike in deaths- 51,000 people died from COVID in 2020, and all but seven of the state's counties saw death rates higher than the three-year average.
Still, the California Department of Finance said a "slightly positive annual growth" can be expected next year as the state recovers from COVID deaths and political repercussions.
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