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Fifteen people set to work during the July 14 election, including two election judges, have quit due to fears about the coronavirus pandemic, the Travis County Clerk's office confirmed.


The office has a backup plan in place and has created an on-call list for poll workers in case there are any dropouts, a spokesperson wrote in an email.

Other counties in Texas are seeing the same thing—Bexar County is expected to close eight polling locations due to lack of staff.

Despite—or perhaps because of—the pandemic, voters are turning out in record-breaking numbers for a primary runoff election, but they are not required by the governor to wear masks at all times while doing so.

As of Thursday evening, 63,701 people had voted early and 15,801 had voted by mail-in ballot—for a total of about 10% of the county's registered voters.

This is already double the typical turnout for a primary runoff election, which County Clerk Dana DeBeauvoir said is typically around 5%.

Early voting ends today at 7 p.m. Election Day is Tuesday, July 14.

Brian Smith, a professor of political science at St. Edward's University, told Austonia that generally speaking runoff elections see "low turnout, low mail-in ballot participation and low excitement."

He attributed turnout to urgency among voters and a high-profile runoff between Democrats to determine who will face off against U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, in November.

"This is going to be a learning experience for Texas because we don't know what the fall is going to hold," Smith said.

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