The Dec. 15 runoff election—which includes races for Austin City Council's Districts 6 and 10—is Tuesday.
Here's everything you need to know before you vote, including where to cast your ballot and what prompts a runoff.
A list of Election Day polling places can be found here; they are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
In Texas, candidates must win at least 50% of the vote to be elected. In races where the top candidate only receives a plurality of votes, a runoff is held.
Runoffs typically attract low turnout and an older, more conservative electorate than general elections.
During the early voting period for this election, which ran from Dec. 3 through Dec. 11, 41,515 Travis County voters cast a ballot compared to 492,616 in the Nov. 3 election, according to the Travis County Clerk's office.
During the Nov. 3 election, four local races prompted runoffs: those for Austin City Council's Districts 6 and 10 and Austin ISD's District 5 and At-large Place 8.
The two most closely followed local races are on Austin City Council, where two incumbents face conservative challengers. City council seats are nonpartisan, although all current members are affiliated with the Democratic Party.
Flannigan won 35% of votes during the Nov. 3 election, compared to Kelly's 29%.
Flannigan's platform includes plans to address the pandemic, Austin's affordability crisis, traffic congestion and public safety reform. As a council member, he voted in favor of cutting the Austin Police Department's budget and other police reforms; overturning the city's camping ban; and Project Connect, a $7.1 billion transit system overhaul.
Kelly is a client care manager who ran against Flannigan in 2014 and opposes recent cuts to the police department budget and council's decision to overturn the city's camping ban. She has drawn criticism from her opponent and others for posing in a photo with protesters who displayed white supremacist hand signals and members of the Wind Therapy Freedom Riders motorcycle group, members of which later accosted Flannigan at a campaign event.
Alter faced six challengers during the Nov. 3 election and received the most votes, with 34% case in her favor. She describes herself as a progressive Democrat and has spent her time on council advocating for preservationist land use policies and parks. She voted to cut APD's budget but opposed its decision to overturn the camping ban.
Virden, a real estate broker and general contractor, earned 25% of the vote last month. She opposes Project Connect, council's decision to overturn the camping ban and any effort to defund the police.
Early voting results will be announced Tuesday after polls close at 7 p.m. with final results to follow.
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Austin FC couldn't find the stamina to fight off a 2-0 loss against LAFC for their inaugural match on Saturday.
The match, which saw No. 21 Austin FC go head-to-head with No. 2 LAFC in Los Angeles, was broadcast nationally on FOX and FOX Deportes.
Salute the support. 👏
It's only the beginning for @AustinFC. pic.twitter.com/TduorqYr2y
— Major League Soccer (@MLS) April 18, 2021
Eleven players took the stage as Austin FC players for the first time, with five starters making their MLS debut. "Ringleader" Alex Ring took the captain's armband and wore it well. The defensive midfielder could be seen leading his teammates through their first ever match, but it wasn't enough to stage an Austin takeover in LA.
In the signature style of Head Coach Josh Wolff, the team played with quickness and intensity, nearly connecting on several fast breaks. It was harder for them to stay in front, however, something that Wolff credits with quick decision making and a tough LAFC defense.
"We have a quick attacking team, but I think when you make quick attacks and it fizzles it's just about some decision making," Wolff said. "Are we in position to finish attacks? If not, can we reestablish our attack and get stuff better?"
The club was given some generous breaks from No. 2 LAFC, who had one or both of their star DPs out for the half. While forward Diego Rossi is out for the entire match due to a hamstring injury, Carlos Vela was accidentally pulled too soon on what turned out to be a miscommunication.
"He gave us the sign that he needed to come off," LAFC Head Coach Bob Bradley said on broadcast. "I can't say more than maybe it's my fault."
LA pulled some dramatics and slowly gained more possession throughout the half, but ATXFC's defense wasn't initially as shaky as it seemed in preseason. Jhohan Romana has pulled his weight in getting the ball out of goal, and a 34-year old Matt Besler held his own in center back.
As the second half commenced, however, it became clear that LAFC had the advantage over Austin's first major league team.
Goalkeeper Brad Stuver had his work cut out for him, fending off 24 shot attempts, 11 of which were on goal. He didn't have much time to prepare, either: in the first 30 seconds of play, Stuver had already made a save to keep the match 0-0.
LAFC finally connected in the 61st minute of play as Corey Baird shot one into the bottom right corner. The team capitalized off their momentum and put one past Stuver a second time, drawing roars of approval from the LAFC crowd.
While some last-minute attempts from Jon Gallagher and others were made, Austin FC didn't have the endurance to bring a tie. After seven additional minutes of stoppage time, the club lost their first match 2-0.
While the scoreboard tells one story, Wolff said that the team did well considering the skill of LAFC and the pressure of their club debut.
"We've got to be realistic," Wolff said. "This is the first time this organization has been in front of TV with an opportunity to show itself and I think there were some promising moments. And we're going to maximize those and continue to try to develop those, but there's lots to build on."
The team may have lost, but it still won the support of thousands of Verde fans, dozens of which made it to watch their team's first match. When Stuver and the team made it to bthe stadium, Los Verdes fans were already there to show support, and Stuver said his wife saw the same back in Austin.
"The moment that we pulled into the stadium, we saw Black and Verde fans cheering us on as we got to the stadium," Stuver said. "During warm up, you can just look around and see different groups sitting in different sections of the stadium and it's just truly amazing to see the support in our first game. We know that we want to give the fans everything, because this we play for the city and we play for them."