Nearly 200,000 Travis County residents have voted early in person since the polls opened on Oct. 13. With 12 days left before the early voting period ends on Oct. 30, and photos circulating on social media of long lines, Austonia has ranked the 37 local polling places by popularity.
The first four days of early voting saw successively higher turnout—growing from 35,873 on Tuesday to 41,265 on Friday—with a dropoff over the weekend, according to the Travis County Clerk's Office.
As of lunchtime Monday, more than 13,000 people had voted early.
Six days into the early voting period for the 2016 general election, 180,433 Travis County residents had voted early in person.
Voter turnout this election is already breaking local records.
The Travis County Clerk's Office reported 41,265 people voted early in person on Friday, a new local record.
Additionally, Travis County Clerk Dana DeBeauvoir said last week that her office had already received more than 78,000 mail-in ballot applications and expects that number to grow to around 100,000 by the Oct. 29 deadline. In comparison, her office sent out only 27,000 mail-in ballots ahead of the 2016 general election.
As of Sunday, DeBeauvoir's office had received 35,696 mail-in ballots for tallying.
In other record-setting news, more than 850,000 Travis County residents—of 97% of eligible voters—registered by the state's Oct. 5 deadline, according to the Travis County Tax Assessor-Collector and Voter Registrar Bruce Elfant.
Around 78% of voting age Texans were registered to vote during the 2016 general election, according to the Texas Secretary of State's office. Of those, nearly 60% of registered voters turned out.
Polling places are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from noon to 6 p.m. on Sundays.
The following six sites will be open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 28; Thursday, Oct. 29; and Friday, Oct. 30:
- Ben Hur Shrine Center
- Millennium Youth Complex
- PfISD Rock Gym
- South Park Meadows, Suite 400
- South Park Meadows, Suite 500
- Austin Central Library
Residents can find wait time estimates for each location here, whether they are registered to vote here, voter identification requirements in Texas here, their personal ballot here and some races to watch here.
Many local businesses are also encouraging voting by offering specials—from a free slice of pizza to a discounted pint—to those who bring in their "I voted" or "Yo voté" sticker.
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Some Austin restaurants, bars will keep masking requirements, capacity limits when statewide orders lift next week
Two days shy of the one-year anniversary of Texas' first confirmed case of COVID-19, Gov. Greg Abbott announced Tuesday that he will rescind statewide pandemic restrictions, including business capacity limits and mask mandates, next week. Although businesses—especially those tied to the hospitality industry—have suffered financially over the last year, many Austin establishments are rejecting Abbott's order.
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(AUSTIN, TEXAS) Austonia has hired Claire Partain as a reporter covering Austin FC, the MLS expansion team that will be Austin's first major league sports franchise.
Partain is a former sports editor for the The University Star, Texas State University's daily newspaper. She edited, covered sports, produced podcasts, and hosted a pre-game TXST football tailgate live series. Partain has been freelancing with the company since January, prior to accepting a staff position.
A native of Fairfield, Texas, Partain grew up playing youth soccer. In her high school years, she played alongside her mother in what was then called the Freestone County Hispanic Women's Soccer League.
Claire's coverage philosophy: "I like to bring out the humanity of sports, and I want to make this the most accessible sports coverage possible."
She notes that soccer is the predominant sport for young people. "It's a global sport, and we're more connected to the world than older generations."
That approach fits the team's already visible presence in Austin, says Austonia CEO Mark Dewey. "Austin FC has established itself as a leading Austin brand, one that stands for a more unified Austin community, a bigger global presence for Austin and fun. Austonia shares those values."
Partain's soccer coverage begins immediately, with her free, hosted text service—Austonia FC. For updates, special access and inside info, all moderated by Claire, sign up below.
Austonia is the city's independent, free, locally-owned and all-digital source for Austin news, information and entertainment.
Connect with Austonia through its daily email newsletter and text updates, @austonianews Instagram feed, @austonianews and @austinist Twitter feeds, @austonianews Facebook page and its website austonia.com.
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Two hours after Gov. Greg Abbott announced that state mandates on wearing masks and limiting business capacities would be lifted, Mayor Steve Adler wrote a letter to the city urging residents to keep their masks on and stay safe.
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