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It's Election Day, and nearly 65% of Austin voters have already cast a ballot before the day began.
Short lines made it easy to vote on Election Day in Austin. There will also be Election Day watch parties, mostly virtually, taking place after polls close.
Here is the latest election information:
11:30 a.m.: Local election results are in
Election results are complete for Travis County with two council races headed for the Dec. 15 runoffs. And along with those results, the city learns Proposition A—a 15-year, $7.1 billion overhaul of the local transit system—passed.
9:05 p.m.: Presidential race too close to call in Texas
Most of Travis County presidential votes have been counted, but an estimated one-quarter of all Texas votes are yet to be counted so far.
For ongoing vote totals for the Texas presidential race, click here.
8:50 p.m. John Cornyn retains U.S. Senate seat
U.S. Sen. John Cornyn has been elected to his fourth term after beating Democratic challenger MJ Hegar, Texas Tribune projects. Here is more background about the U.S. Senate race.
8:10 p.m. Early voting results for Prop A & B as well as U.S. Senate, House races in Texas
Project Connect and the Prop B mobility bond both have significant leads based on early voting results released Tuesday night.
And, at least in Travis County, challenger MJ Hegar leads U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, in local early voting totals. There are also several local U.S. House races that already have significant returns recorded. Most notably, challenger Wendy Davis leads District 21 incumbent U.S. Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas.
7:45 p.m. Austin City Council results begin to emerge
Several Austin City Council seats are up for election in 2020. Here is what we know based on early votes that have already been tabulated.
- Alison Alter leads in crowded race for Austin City Council District 10 seat with early votes tallied
- Jimmy Flannigan has a narrow lead in the Austin City Council District 6 race with early votes tallied
- Leslie Pool leads in Austin City Council District 7 race with early votes tallied
- Greg Casar leads in Austin City Council District 4 race with early votes tallied
- Vanessa Fuentes leads race for Austin City Council District 2 seat, with early votes tallied
- Early voting results: Austin City Council
7:20 p.m. Polls close quietly at The University of Texas campus and at Austin Central Library
The University of Texas had no lines at campus polling locations after polls opened Tuesday morning.
There were no reported lines at The University of Texas campus or Austin Central Library in downtown Austin, two of the highest-profile polling locations in the city.
5:05 p.m.: 43,000 have voted in-person on Election Day with two hours left to go
Travis County voters cast their ballots at the Southpark Meadows Shopping Center location in far south Austin during the highly anticipated 2020 general election.
With two hours left to vote and many Austinites getting off work for the day, more than 43,000 Travis County residents have cast their ballot on Election Day, according to the Travis County clerk.
Most of the 178 Travis County polling locations report little to no wait times for voters to cast a ballot.
As of 5 p.m., only one site, Old Quarry library branch in Northwest Hills, reports an extended wait time. It reportedly will take at least 50 minutes to cast a vote at this location, although similar county reports have proven to be unsubstantiated when reviewed earlier in Election Day.
The only other county polling site reporting a delay is located in Manor, where a 50-minute-plus wait is also reportedly occurring.
Polling locations in north-central Austin have little to no wait times for voters mid-afternoon.
According to one campaign worker in front of St. Matthew's Episcopal Church in Northwest Hills, approximately 200 people have voted at the polling location so far today.
Another nearby spot, St. John's United Methodist Church in Allandale, also reported no wait times despite short-lived reports from Travis County that voters were waiting at least 20 minutes to cast a ballot.
Another common Election Day polling location, Congregation Beth Israel in Rosedale, had little activity as well, according to one on-site petitioner.
There may not be any polling sites in Austin's central core reporting extended wait times as of late Tuesday afternoon.
If you want to rock the vote in style, consider stopping by Austin Central Library from 6-7:30 p.m. to enjoy live music while casting a ballot. Jack Craver of Austin Politics Newsletter reports Progress Texas is hosting live music at polling sites across Austin on Election Day.
2:50 p.m.: Election Protection group reports no issues at Austin-area polling sites
Despite reports of a brief wait on Travis County's wait time map, the polling site at Juan P. Navarro Early College High School had no wait time mid-afternoon.
A volunteer from Election Protection, a polling site watch group, reports no major issues at Austin-area polling locations. Election Protection is a national, nonpartisan coalition of various nonprofit and advocacy groups that seek to protect and defend the right to vote.
1:30 p.m.: Petitions to recall Austin Mayor Steve Adler circulating at Ben Hur polling location
Ben Hur Shrine Temple in north-central Austin is also reporting slow lines, with more poll workers and campaign volunteers than voters.
However, one notable difference at this location is a campaign to recall Austin Mayor Steve Adler. The Adler recall initiative reportedly needs 61,000 valid signatures by January to qualify for a May mayoral recall election.
At least two people signed the petition on their way to vote after the lunch hour.
Jason Scott, who supports the recall initiative, was on West Anderson Drive on Tuesday waving a sign pointing voters toward the Ben Hur polling location. Some people honked, he said, while others gave him a thumbs down in response to the recall effort.
The Austin-born resident said he disagreed with Adler's decision to close down Austin during the pandemic. He also criticized the lift on Austin's camping ban.
"It's really a bad case of mismanagement," Scott said. "Just watch, there's about to be a big change politically."
Locally owned businesses have suffered most during quarantine measures, Scott said, while big-box national stores such as Walmart have benefited.
"We need to be able to restart the economy," he said.
12:15 p.m.: Lines remain short at most Austin voter locations, including spots with a reported wait
There were no lines at Greater Mt. Zion Baptist Church in East Austin despite reports of longer-than-usual waits at the polling location.(Joe Lanane)
Despite claims earlier in the morning that lines at Greater Mt. Zion Baptist Church were 20-50 minutes long, according to Travis County's wait time map, a poll worker at the site reports "relatively mild turnout" and no extensive wait times. The poll worker attributed the inaccurate report to a potential tech glitch in how they report wait times to the county.
The wait time map has since been updated heading into the noon hour to show that almost all polling locations in Travis County have short wait times between zero and 20 minutes. Only Avalon Pool and Amenity Center in Pflugerville reports an excessive wait time of 50 or more minutes. No other polling site reports wait times that exceed 20 minutes.
At other polling locations throughout Austin, voters could walk in almost immediately to cast a ballot.
10:20 a.m.: First-time poll worker reports no lines at Twin Oaks library branch
Poll workers set up outside of Twin Oaks library branch in South Austin on Election Day.Joe Lanane
Nothing unexpected has occurred so far at the Twin Oaks library branch in South Austin. A first-time poll worker, who declined to give their name, said they are glad to work the polling site to ensure there are more than enough voting locations open on Election Day.
"It's a generational handing of the baton because this position is usually served by retired people and the elderly," the poll worker said. "I felt like this was a call to action, and other than voting it just feels very hopeful to participate."
10 a.m.: South Austin house becomes pickup spot for Texas Democrats
Caitlin Gabor, right, hands out campaign literature to volunteers at a Texas Democrats pickup spot in South Austin.(Joe Lanane/Austonia)
Between two South Austin polling sites is an unofficial pickup spot for Texas Democrats volunteering today. Volunteer Caitlin Gabor is working a makeshift work station to hand off campaign literature to workers—who then will work the neighborhoods to target voters who have not yet cast ballots. Gabor said this is her first time engaging in political activity.
Volunteers, who come and go from the South Austin home, picking up campaign pamphlets, report that many voters still benefit from information about polling locations and how to cast a vote during COVID-19.
9:40 a.m.: South Austin Recreation Center has no lines after morning rush
Outside of the South Austin Recreation Center, located near the South Lamar Boulevard-Oltorf Street intersection, was reportedly busy when polls opened Tuesday morning but has since died down.
Gloria and Charles Saucedo campaign outside of South Austin Recreation Center on Election Day.Joe Lanane
Gloria Saucedo and her husband Charles, have set up outside of the recreation center to support Gloria's sister, Austin ISD District 2 candidate Ofelia Maldonado Zapata. The polling location is located in AISD District 2, Gloria said, and her sister is one of three candidates running for the open seat.
The couple anticipates more voters to arrive after the work day concludes around 5:30 p.m. Polls close at 7 p.m.
8:40 a.m.: East Austin polling site has no lines
Cinque Kiara sells t-shirts benefiting Carment Kiara's Youth Organization outside Carver library branch in East Austin. (Joe Lanane/Austonia)
Cinque Kiara sells custom T-shirts that encourage voting while standing outside of the Carver library branch polling location, but there weren't many voters to solicit potential donations for the Carment Kiara's Youth Organization, which benefits from the shirt sales.
According to a worker for the Julie Oliver campaign, the site had a 15-20 minute wait at the start of voting Tuesday, but voters have walked right into the East Austin library branch with no wait since the first hour of voting.
8:20 a.m.: Petitioner seeks signatures for local election reforms
Ernest Smith collects signatures for Austinites for Progressive Reform outside of the Millennium Youth Complex on Election Day. (Joe Lanane/Austonia)
There was no line to vote at Millennium Youth Complex in East Austin, with campaign volunteers outnumbering voters at this time. There was a short line right when polls opened, said Ernest Smith, a volunteer for Austinites for Progressive Reform. Smith was seeking signatures for a petition that could force several election reform initiatives on the local ballot in May 2021.
The reforms include moving the mayoral election to align with presidential election years. Austin Mayor Steve Adler was elected in 2014 in the first local race to be held in November instead of May when most local elections occur in Texas. He was reelected in 2018 during another off-presidential election.
The petition also seeks a ballot question to reform campaign finance rules and make Austin a ranked-choice voting city, the same way Maine will cast ballots Tuesday. Additionally, the reform group seeks to realign Austin's political structure to a mayor-council form of government.
Smith had less than a handful of signatures so far but anticipated more foot traffic during the lunch rush.
8 a.m.: Walk-up COVID-19 testing site is also a polling location on Election Day
Qualifying voters can vote curbside as part of a new Travis County program. (Joe Lanane/Austonia)
Givens Park, a walk-up COVID-19 testing site during the pandemic, doubles Tuesday as an Election Day polling site. A poll watcher for a civil rights group said there was a 10- to 15-minute wait when polls opened at 7 a.m. but there has been no line since.
Every polling site, including the Givens Recreation Center, offers curbside voting as part of an initiative from Travis County. That means poll workers come to your car to help qualifying voters—mostly seniors and voters with special needs—cast a ballot.
After a long, long year without live music, Austin has waited patiently for a return that has finally come. Festivals are planning returns and even venues that adhered strictly to safety protocols during the pandemic are feeling safe enough to gather again in person.
Starting in just a few short days, you can finally enjoy what makes Austin, well, Austin again. Here are a few of the live shows to look forward to.
Stubb's Waller Creek, 801 Red River Street
For the first time since the pandemic shut the iconic venue down forcing canceled and rescheduled shows, Stubb's BBQ is reopening its amphitheater to the public for concerts starting with a series of five sold-out Black Pumas shows, each with different openers, from May 26-30. It may be too late to catch Black Pumas this time around but Stubb's already has a host of other shows scheduled up through December. You can catch Surfaces, a College Station-based jazz-pop-hip-hop and vocals heavy duo known best for their song "Sunday Best," on Stubb's Stage on June 25 while tickets go on sale this Friday.
Next at Stubb's is electronic duo Louis the Child on July 28 and 29 on their "Euphoria Tour," followed by Umphrey's McGee on Sept. 9.
Mohawk Austin, 912 Red River Street
Likewise, Mohawk Austin has remained closed for more than a year since the onset of COVID-19, even tweeting "Thanks bro but we ain't gonna do it till it's safe," in response to Gov. Greg Abbott lifting all safety restrictions back in March. Starting May 27, Mohawk is officially back with Heartless Bastards and opener The Tender Things.
From there, Mohawk has an exciting lineup—Jukebox the Ghost will play on Sept. 10, Bully and opener Lightning Bug on Sept. 17, Big Freedia and Too Many Zooz on Oct. 4 and Beach Bunny on Dec. 14, with several talented artists in-between. Keep checking back though, Mohawk will continue to add shows and is currently planning on operating at 50%.
Frank Erwin Center, 1701 Red River Street
Though it is making a later comeback than Stubb's or Mohawk, the Frank Erwin Center will make a huge return on Aug. 14 featuring Tame Impala. If you missed their highly popular set at Austin City Limits Festival in 2019 or you want to relive it, this is the chance to do so. Plus, you get the added benefit of being able to see the stage, though you will still be watching with around 16,000 other spectators. Michael Bublé will have you swooning when he comes to perform on Sept. 20 and Chris Stapleton is taking his "All American Road Show" live on Nov. 4.
Nutty Brown Amphitheatre, 12225 US-290
Holding some socially distanced concerts earlier this year, the Nutty Brown Amphitheatre isn't stopping there with rap artist Ginger Billy playing two sets on May 7. Nutty Brown has a star-studded lineup ahead: Austin-based Bob Schneider on May 8 and other Austin favorite Shinyribs will grace the stage May 29. A little further down the line, Joan Jett & The Blackhearts will take over on Aug. 21 followed by Styx on Oct. 23.
Texas Performing Arts Center, 2350 Robert Dedman Drive
If you prefer a little bit more visual appeal to go with your music, the Texas Performing Arts Center is reopening in-person after consistent online events. First up is Cody Ko and Noel Miller, a multi-hyphenated YouTuber-podcaster-comedian duo, who will perform their "Tiny Meat Gang – Global Domination," on July 31. Of course you can't miss The Beach Boys, coming to the theater on Oct. 24, or a two-week long production of Hamilton from Dec. 7-19. For all the young ones that have missed going out in-person, "Disney Princess—The Concert" is coming to the Texas Performing Arts Center on Feb. 6, 2022, performing timeless gems like "Be Our Guest" from Beauty and the Beast and featuring all their other favorite princesses. Tickets go on sale this Friday.
Remember to jump on those tickets–Austinites have been missing their live music!
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Austin is on a rollercoaster that only goes up, according to the new U.S. Census Bureau data that says the city has been the fastest-growing large metropolitan area in the U.S. for a full 10 years.
The data, which was released on Tuesday, said the population between the five counties in the Austin metro area—Travis, Williamson, Hays, Bastrop and Caldwell—increased by 3% since 2019 and 34% since 2010.
Austin still isn't the largest metro area but it does have the fastest population growth compared to other U.S. metro areas with over a million people. In the past decade, the metro population has gone from around 1.7 million to 2.3 million people.
The huge increase in Travis County alone is enough to bring the city closer to the leagues of other big cities, jumping above San Francisco and San Jose, California and Jacksonville, Florida in the ranks of most populous.
An increase of more than half a million people in the metro area puts it as the 29th largest, an increase of one spot from last year.
However, in terms of just population growth compared to last July, Austin was beaten by a few other Texas cities: Dallas ranked first in the U.S. with an increase of 119,748 and Houston took third, gaining 91,078. Austin ranked fourth with a growth spurt of 67,197, averaging out to 184 new people per day including natural increase, or the difference caused by births and deaths.
Overall, Texas gained the most residents out of all other U.S. states.
With companies like Tesla, which has promised to hire 10,000 people at the new Gigafactory, Oracle, Samsung and Google putting down roots in Austin and Texas tax breaks and lack of personal income tax, it's no surprise companies and people are flocking to the Lone Star State.
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