As of 5 p.m., more than 43,000 Travis County residents have voted on Election Day.
"You should all be incredibly proud of yourselves for putting together such a heavy turnout," Travis County Clerk Dana DeBeauvoir said in a Facebook live.
Around midday, DeBeauvoir said Travis County residents were casting around 6,000 votes an hour, and she estimated a turnout of around 85% of registered voters.
"I think that's a conservative guess," she said.
This election has already been a record-setting one here in Austin.
More people voted early in Travis County this election than in the entire 2016 election.
As of Friday, the last day of early voting, 553,290 residents had cast their ballots. The bulk of those—nearly 90%—voted in person. The remainder voted by mail or limited ballot, which is available to those in the process of moving.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott extended the early voting period by six days this election due to the coronavirus pandemic.
In comparison, only 477,588 people voted in Travis County during the 2016 race, including Election Day turnout.
Travis County also set a new registration record this year, with 97% of eligible voters registered to do so, according to Travis County Tax Assessor-Collector and Voter Registrar Bruce Elfant.
The last time Travis County saw more than 70% of registered voter turnout was in 1988, according to the Texas Secretary of State's office, when Republican George H.W. Bush ran against Democrat Michael Dukakis.
Election Day logistics
Polls opened at 7 a.m. and close at 7 p.m. Anyone who is in line at 7 p.m. will be able to vote in person.
"Most of the voters out there are wearing masks and they're socially distancing," DeBeauvoir said, adding that many of this year's Election Day polling places were chosen because they allow for ample room between voters and booths.
Austin-Travis County Interim Health Authority Dr. Mark Escott encouraged residents to get out to vote this Election Day, adding that Austin Public Health has worked closely with local election officials to ensure safety amid the pandemic. He also asked Austinites to avoid in-person watch parties, given the risk of transmission.
Travis County residents who still need to deposit their mail-in ballots may do so in-person at 5501 Airport Blvd. Voters may only hand deliver their own carrier envelope, must present an acceptable form of identification and will be asked to sign a signature roster.
There is a hard cutoff at 7 p.m. Those waiting in line will not be able to deposit their ballots, DeBeauvoir said Tuesday.
City officials are also anticipating election-related protests and encouraging residents to be mindful, given the pandemic and the likelihood that the results of the presidential race may be delayed or otherwise contested.
"While it's possible that we might know outright who has won in each race by tonight, we could also potentially end the night with an unclear winner in the Presidential race," Austin Mayor Steve Adler said in a statement. "Stay patient, and listen to trusted sources for election information."
Many downtown Austin businesses have boarded up their doors and windows in anticipation of mass gatherings, mirroring trends in other major U.S. cities.
"Regardless of today's outcome, I hope everyone remembers that we are all Austinites and we show our love for this city by showing love and respect for one another," Austin City Manager Spencer Cronk said in a statement.
Local activists and four members of City Council have raised concerns about the Austin Police Department's ability to maintain safety, given the serious injuries officers inflicted at Black Lives Matter protests earlier this year and recent reports that officers have tolerated or even fraternized with white supremacist groups.
Most recently, critics of Adler gathered on Sunday for a drive-thru protest and parade in support of recalling the mayor and "backing the blue," a pro-police movement. A group of APD officers posed in photos with the protesters, some of whom displayed white supremacist hand signals, in front of City Hall.
"We want to be absolutely clear what the expectations are for a response to any peaceful protests this November," Mayor Pro Tem Delia Garza said in a statement last week. "And we want Chief Manley to help assure Austinites that we will not see a repeat of the violent tactics APD used against peaceful demonstrators this spring."
Escott encouraged Austinites to protest safely, if they so choose.
"While we do not discourage individuals from exercising any of their protected constitutional rights, including the right to assembly, we implore our community members to think of the safety of those who surround them and to social distance, wear a mask, and wash your hands often," he said in a statement.
This story has been updated to include local voter turnout as of 5 p.m. on Election Day.
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So you want to buy a house?
To anyone trying to get on the "housing ladder," it's been a discouraging couple of years as prices skyrocketed in a market crowded with buyers bidding against each other for just about any available home.
Things may be calming down, with the Austin Board of REALTORS reporting fewer sales and more available homes this summer.
Mortgage rates have more than doubled in the last year, from around 3% to well over 6% on a 30-year fixed rate loan, getting even more of a bump this week after the Federal Reserve raised bank rates on Wednesday.
So how affordable are homes right now? That, of course, depends on what you want and how much you're able or willing to pay, but here are some rough estimates of what a typical buyer would pay to buy a $650,000 home, which would be considered "mid-price" in today's market.
Mortgage banker Chris Holland (NMLS 211033) of Austin's Sente Mortgage ran some numbers for Austonia to illustrate a typical purchase.
Holland says that while the 30-year fixed rate mortgage is often mentioned in the media, the most popular loan that he's seeing now is a 7/1 adjustable rate mortgage, which has a fixed rate for 7 years and then adjusts every year based on market rates, with a limit on how much it can increase each year. The interest is amortized over a 30-year period. Adjustable Rate Mortgages (ARMs) offer lower rates than fixed rate loans.
Here are the numbers, which are examples. In practice, exact numbers vary with a buyer's credit rating and overall financial situation, and with the rate, which can move up or down at any time.
- $650,000 home purchase price
- 7/1 ARM at 5.875%
- 5% down payment, equals $32,500
- 95% financed, equals $617,500
- $4,990 payment, including principle and interest (P&I), insurance, and property tax
- Typically, a borrower's debt to income ratio needs to be at or below 45%. So for this mortgage, a borrower, or borrowers, would need income of roughly $11,100/month, or $133,200/year. That number could be higher, depending on the buyer's outstanding credit balances on things like credit cards and car loans.
Holland says he's had a lot of clients approved for loans who were house hunting but have put that on hold, hoping prices come down.
Camp Fimfo Waco, a brand new camping resort, is kicking off football and fall camping season in style! With top-notch amenities, premium accommodations, and 10 weekends of fall fun, there’s no better place to have a fall camping getaway, especially if you’re a Baylor football fan!
Fall promises to be a one-of-a-kind camping experience. From Sept. 16 to Nov. 24, weekends will be packed with fall-themed activities, including special Halloween weekends in October. Campers can enjoy activities like fall crafts, campground trick-or-treating, costume contests, site decorating, outdoor movie nights, and more!
Packages and Ways to Stay
Camp Fimfo Waco
Located just 5 miles from McLane Stadium, Camp Fimfo Waco is the perfect place to stay during home game weekends. Skip the stuffy hotel room and embrace the great outdoors before cheering on the Baylor Bears! Campers can purchase a Baylor Tailgating Package that includes a pre-game meal from Executive Chef Sean Kelley and transportation to and from the game! Chef Kelley will also be cooking up delicious, elevated tailgating meals near the stadium so make sure to check out The Plaid Plate food truck before the game.
Stay in style and comfort, no matter your camping preference! At Camp Fimfo Waco, there are multiple ways to stay. Red Carpet RV sites come with a concrete pad and patio, full hook-ups, cable hook-up, a charcoal grill, fire ring and fire pit. Back-in or pull-thru options are available, as well as coveted spots tucked along the Bosque River!
Don’t have an RV? Not a problem, Camp Fimfo Waco has cabins too! Book a Riverview Firewheel Cabin if you’re looking for an air-conditioned oasis for the whole family. Complete with a kitchen and private bathroom, this cabin can fit up to 10 people. Elevate your stay by adding on a golf cart or snag a private cabana by the pool for guaranteed shade. With wifi available throughout the park, you can stay connected during your stay!
Amenities and Activities
Camp Fimfo Waco
Camp Fimfo Waco features lots of amenities to fill your days with fun, whether you’re a kid or kid at heart. After challenging your friends to a game of pickleball, basketball, or mini golf, go for a dip in the resort-style, heated pool - open daily through October! Stay on the weekends through October to enjoy the interactive splash playground. With plenty of ways to burn off energy, like the jumping pillow or playground, you can be sure to end the day with a peaceful night around the campfire!
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