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(Charlie Harper III)

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.

Elected council members will be tasked with rewriting the city's land use code, considering further cuts to APD's budget and implementing the Project Connect plan.

In District 6, Council Member Jimmy Flannigan is running against Mackenzie Kelly.

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.

In District 10, Council Member Alison Alter is running against Jennifer Virden.

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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