Austonia daily newsletter—direct to your inbox 6 a.m.
×
becomeMemberIcon

become a member

(rawpixel.com/Adobe)

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.

Popular

Tinder use soared alongside other popular dating apps during the pandemic and is expected to continue to grow.

It may not come as a surprise that dating app use surged during the pandemic when many had to swap the benefits of in-person dating for on-screen connections. Bumble revenue swelled to $337.2 million in 2020 compared to $275.5 million, Hinge revenue tripled in the same period and Tinder users broke two records from January to March of 2021.

Keep Reading Show less

(Pexels)

With more research done on the COVID-19 Delta variant, Austin Public Health is upping its goal of 70% vaccinated to at least 80% due to the extreme virality of the strain.

Keep Reading Show less

A newly certified petition will put a new item on the November ballot to up police presence. (Shutterstock)

Save Austin Now is now 2-0 over Austin City Council after its petition to add more staffed police officers to the Austin Police Department was certified, garnering over the 20,000 votes needed to make it on an election ballot.

Keep Reading Show less