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Travis County Election News

Small corner of Travis County to vote on tax for emergency services

In a tiny, quiet, lakeside corner of far northwestern Travis County, about 700 voters will have a choice this May: to keep their sales tax at 8.25 percent or cut it back to 7.25 percent. But the question won’t be phrased that way on the ballot. Instead, thanks to a quirk of timing, it will simply ask if another penny of every dollar spent in the unincorporated areas surrounding the tiny town...
New Southeast Travis district would raise taxes for fire protection

New Southeast Travis district would raise taxes for fire protection

Southeastern Travis County voters have a choice this spring whether to add a second emergency services district over an existing one — essentially a shortcut to allow taxes to be raised above the legal maximum. Vote yes and emergency services district property taxes in the area will likely double, from an average of $115 per year to an average of $230. Vote no and there might be no immediate...
Lawmaker pulls bill to change early voting in Texas

Lawmaker pulls bill to change early voting in Texas

The future of a bill that trims down the early voting period is uncertain after its author withdrew it from committee consideration Monday following logistical concerns from the attorney general’s office and county election officials. House Bill 288, authored by state Rep. Mark Keough, R-The Woodlands, would have shrunk the early voting period from 12 to seven days and pushed it closer to Election...
Election officials: Hundreds of Texans might have voted improperly

Election officials: Hundreds of Texans might have voted improperly

Texas election officials have acknowledged that hundreds of people were allowed to bypass the state’s toughest-in-the-nation voter ID law and improperly cast ballots in the November presidential election after signing a sworn statement instead of showing a photo ID. The chief election officers in two of the state’s largest counties are considering whether to refer cases to prosecutors...
First look: Travis County sues over emails sought by Laura Pressley

First look: Travis County sues over emails sought by Laura Pressley

Travis County is suing the state attorney general’s office to block the release of records sought by former Austin City Council candidate Laura Pressley, who is involved in long-running litigation over her 2014 loss to District 4 Council Member Greg Casar. The records request is part of Pressley’s effort to question the validity of elections in Travis County. However, she disputes the...
By the numbers: Tuesday’s runoff elections in Central Texas

By the numbers: Tuesday’s runoff elections in Central Texas

Tuesday is election day for a handful of runoffs from last month’s general election. Here’s a by-the-numbers look at the runoffs in Central Texas: 5 — Percent turnout expected in Travis County, compared with 65 percent turnout for the November general election. 3 — Seats that will be decided on the San Marcos City Council: mayor (Ruben Becerra vs. John Thomaides) and two City...

Travis, Hays see low turnouts in early voting for runoff elections

One month after a record-setting, high-turnout general election, only about 2 percent of Travis and Hays counties’ registered voters participated in early voting for runoff elections, perhaps due to cold weather and voter fatigue, election officials said. But the nippy weather didn’t stop 32-year-old San Marcos resident Aniekan Umobong from leaving work at UPS early to cast his ballot...
What you need to know as early voting begins in the Dec. 13 runoffs

What you need to know as early voting begins in the Dec. 13 runoffs

We haven’t seen the last of the 2016 elections. Early voting begins Thursday and runs through Dec. 9 for the Dec. 13 runoff, featuring several local races in which no one won a majority of the vote Nov. 8. What you need to know about the year’s final election: What’s on the ballot: Most Central Texas voters get to pick two board members for Austin Community College: Michael J. Lewis...
For unauthorized immigrant community, Trump’s election sparks fear

For unauthorized immigrant community, Trump’s election sparks fear

As election results began pouring in Tuesday night showing Republican candidate Donald Trump with a surprising lead, Sheridan Aguirre received a phone call from his 10-year-old brother. He was worried that Trump would win the presidency and deport his family members, said Aguirre, who is an immigrant and works for the immigrant advocacy group United We Dream. “He called me crying, and I told...
Central Texas school board elections: Cindy Anderson wins in Austin

Central Texas school board elections: Cindy Anderson wins in Austin

Cindy Anderson clinched the win in the at-large race on the Austin school board against David Quintanilla, 56 percent to 44 percent. Anderson, a longtime district volunteer, said she felt good about the early returns but didn’t want to assume a win until the final vote was counted. “I’m really honored to have been elected to do this work that I’ve been so passionate about for...
Travis County Democratic watch party turns somber

Travis County Democratic watch party turns somber

Several Travis County Democrats were in tears and disbelief by early Wednesday morning as the likelihood of Hillary Clinton winning the presidency waned. Hundreds of people in high spirits packed The Driskill Hotel Tuesday night for the Travis County Democratic Party watch party. People posed with cutouts of Hillary Clinton and wore t-shirts with phrases that supporters had reclaimed from Donald Trump...
Austin transportation bond passes with 59.1 percent of the vote

Austin transportation bond passes with 59.1 percent of the vote

The city of Austin has voters’ permission to borrow $720 million for transportation projects, an unprecedented amount for that purpose that Mayor Steve Adler said will transform Austin mobility. A ballot proposition authorizing that borrowing passed with 59.1 percent of the vote once all the ballots were tallied early Wednesday morning. “Now the work begins,” Adler had said at a...

Democrats Moore, Hernandez win Travis County DA, sheriff’s races

A new era of law and order in Travis County is in place with the election of two new Democrats, Sally Hernandez to sheriff and Margaret Moore to district attorney. The party’s lengthy hold on the D.A.’s office continues with Moore’s decisive win over Maura Phelan, 66 percent to 34 percent. Hernandez also easily trounced her Republican rival, Joe Martinez, with 60 percent of the vote...
Jimmy Flannigan ousts City Council Member Don Zimmerman

Jimmy Flannigan ousts City Council Member Don Zimmerman

Austin City Council hopeful Jimmy Flannigan declared victory before the counting was finished on Election Day votes. That came after District 6 Council Member Don Zimmerman indicated to reporters he did not expect to overcome Flannigan’s strong lead in early voting results. “Don has pretty much said there’s no way to overcome the early voting,” said Tim Kelly, Zimmerman&rsquo...
More returns show two incumbents, one challenger ahead for LISD seats

More returns show two incumbents, one challenger ahead for LISD seats

For final results, click here. At midnight, results remain relatively the same as they were earlier. In Place 3, with 44,756 votes counted, incumbent Pam Waggoner is winning over Chris Remy, 56.6 percent to 43.4 percent. In Place 4, with 40,953 votes counted, incumbent Grace Barber-Jordan is leading Scott Rowe, 52 percent to 48 percent. In Place 5, with 38,077 votes counted, incumbent Russell Bundy...
Travillion, Daugherty claim seats on Travis County court

Travillion, Daugherty claim seats on Travis County court

With all polling locations reporting, Republican incumbent Gerald Daugherty claims a narrow victory over Democratic opponent David Holmes, with 52 percent of the vote. Early in the morning on Nov. 9, Democrat Jeff Travillion can claim a strong victory over Republican opponent Pat McCord and Green Party opponent Ashely Gordon. Travillion garnered 67.66 percent of the vote, McCord garnered 25.82 percent...
Joe Martinez admits defeat to Sally Hernandez in Travis sheriff’s race

Joe Martinez admits defeat to Sally Hernandez in Travis sheriff’s race

10:37 p.m. update: Results from ballots cast on Tuesday have done virtually nothing to dent Constable Sally Hernandez’s sizable lead over Joe Martinez in the race for Travis County sheriff. The latest update posted at 10:30 p.m. still showed Hernandez with 62 percent of the vote compared to Martinez’s 31 percent. 8:15 p.m. update: Republican Joe Martinez said he “wishes the best&rdquo...
Margaret Moore takes big lead in Travis DA race

Margaret Moore takes big lead in Travis DA race

1 a.m.: Unofficial results from early Wednesday confirm that Margaret Moore won the Travis County District Attorney race and Sally Hernandez won the sheriff’s race. For the full story, click here.9:45 p.m.: The margin of Margaret Moore’s lead in the Travis County’s district attorney’s race has not changed.Moore’s lead has stayed firm at 67 percent following the counting...
AISD candidate Cindy Anderson maintains lead over David Quintanilla

AISD candidate Cindy Anderson maintains lead over David Quintanilla

For final results, click here. With 159,357 votes counted, the percentages in both contested races remain the same as they were an hour ago. Results still are not final, but Austin school board at-large District 8 candidate Cindy Anderson maintains a comfortable lead over David Quintanilla, 56 percent to 44 percent. In District 2, which represents the east and southeast portions of the school district...
Austin City Council: Zimmerman out, three incumbents in, one runoff

Austin City Council: Zimmerman out, three incumbents in, one runoff

12:30 a.m. update: Three Austin City Council members held their seats easily Tuesday, while one — Council Member Don Zimmerman — lost decisively to challenger Jimmy Flannigan. Council Member Sheri Gallo is headed to a runoff against Alison Alter in West Austin’s District 10. Gallo received 48 percent to Alter’s 37 percent, with Rob Walker and Nicholas Virden snagging the rest...
Austin transportation bond passes with 59 percent of the vote

Austin transportation bond passes with 59 percent of the vote

12:30 a.m. update: It’s final. The city of Austin transportation bond passed with 59.13 percent of the vote: 181,873 voting yes, 125,683 voting no. 12:15 a.m. update: With 87 percent of election day vote counted, and almost 300,000 votes tallied (counting the huge early vote), the $720 million transportation bond is well on its way to passage. About 59.1 percent of voters have said yes to the...
Travis sheriff candidate’s mailer singles out opponent’s marital history

Travis sheriff candidate’s mailer singles out opponent’s marital history

Joe Martinez, the Republican candidate for Travis County sheriff, highlighted the marriage history of Democratic opponent Sally Hernandez in a recent campaign mailer. Under a section labeled “personal life,” the mailer mentions under Martinez’s name that he has been “married to one woman,” who has since died. Hernandez was “married six times to four different men...
Early voting wraps up in Texas with record turnout

Early voting wraps up in Texas with record turnout

Record numbers of Texans have already cast their votes for the Nov. 8 election, including about half of the voters in Travis and Williamson counties. More than 4 million Texans — well over the 2008 early voting record of 3.5 million — had voted in the state’s 15 largest counties by the end of the day Thursday, according to the most recent data available from the Texas secretary of...

Travis County candidates offer different ideas on transportation fixes

Travis County has a transportation problem. Residents agreed on as much in last year’s Zandan Poll, when 82 percent of respondents said transportation was one of the most important issues facing the greater Austin area. But what can the Travis County Commissioners Court do about it? We put this question to all five candidates running for the two commissioner seats on Tuesday’s ballot....
Travis County Jail at election-year crossroads on immigration policy

Travis County Jail at election-year crossroads on immigration policy

The era of full cooperation with federal immigration authorities at the Travis County Jail is poised to come to an end in January with the likely election of Constable Sally Hernandez, the Democratic candidate for sheriff who has said she won’t honor all requests to turn over undocumented immigrants. It’s a position that immigration activists have championed since retiring Sheriff Greg...
Record-breaking voter turnout continues in Travis County

Record-breaking voter turnout continues in Travis County

Unprecedented early voting turnout in Travis County showed no signs of slowing Thursday and, if it keeps up, could reach the total turnout rates for previous presidential races before Election Day even arrives, county elections director Michael Winn said. On Thursday alone, more than 20,000 people had voted by 3 p.m., and officials were expecting a late evening rush that would put numbers close to...
Herman: At long last, and perhaps with long lines, we’re off and voting

Herman: At long last, and perhaps with long lines, we’re off and voting

Some of you may already be aware of this. I think it’s been on TV. There’s an election going on. We’re voting on lots of people and things. In the Sunday paper I’ll ruminate on some local ballot oddities and offer sympathy for pfolks in Pflugerville who must pass judgment on 28 proposed city charter changes. Atop the ballot, we’re picking a president. Happens periodically...
In Precinct 2 race, challenger asks: Can Travis constables do more?

In Precinct 2 race, challenger asks: Can Travis constables do more?

Constable Adan Ballesteros touts his experience. Challenger Deke Pierce promises a fresh perspective. Both men are vying for the Travis County Constable position in Precinct 2, which covers the northern part of the county. The job involves serving papers for civil county courts and low-level misdemeanors. Ballesteros, a Democrat finishing his second four-year term, and has worked in the constable&rsquo...
DeBeauvoir: Life is busy … vote early!

DeBeauvoir: Life is busy … vote early!

Election Day is Nov. 8, and in our democracy, voting is how you make your voice heard. What I am asking the voters of Travis County to remember is that this November election actually begins with the first day of early voting, which began Monday. We are projecting a record voter turnout for this election. As many as 66 to 68 percent of Travis County registered voters may vote — perhaps as many...
Williamson County shatters first-day early voting record

Williamson County shatters first-day early voting record

5:30 p.m. update: The number of Williamson County residents hitting the polls Monday for the first day of early voting has surpassed the number of people who voted the first day of early voting in the 2012 presidential election. The Williamson County Elections Department reported 14,705 people have voted as of 5 p.m. compared to a total turnout of 9,223 voters on the first day of early voting in November...
House District 47 race drives talk of road funding, gerrymandering

House District 47 race drives talk of road funding, gerrymandering

State Rep. Paul Workman, R-Austin, faces Democrat Ana Jordan and Libertarian Scott McKinlay in the race to represent District 47. Workman, who has a long career in the construction industry, has served in the House since 2011. He fended off a primary challenge this year from Jay Wiley by emphasizing his conservative stances on issues such as tax cuts and gun rights. Jordan has built her campaign against...
Precinct 1 commissioner’s race puts spotlight on East Travis services

Precinct 1 commissioner’s race puts spotlight on East Travis services

The race to replace longtime Travis County Commissioner Ron Davis has significantly cooled down since Democrat Jeff Travillion emerged atop the five-candidate primary and contentious runoff that followed. Travillion, a division manager in Austin’s Code Compliance department, faced criticism from runner-up Arthur Sampson over his work experience and association with state Rep. Dawnna Dukes, who...
Hernandez softens stance on making Austin a ‘sanctuary city’

Hernandez softens stance on making Austin a ‘sanctuary city’

Sally Hernandez has come to accept that the term “sanctuary city” has become inexorably linked with her campaign for Travis County sheriff, even as her position on cooperating with immigration officials has softened ahead of the Nov. 8 election. Hernandez, currently the Travis County Precinct 3 constable, has reversed course multiple times on how the sheriff’s office should work...

Four candidates vying for 2-year unexpired term on ACC board

A four-way race is underway to fill two years of an unexpired term on the Austin Community College Board of Trustees. A business development consultant, a political activist, the head of a Christian ministry and, in a twist, an ACC trustee who currently holds a different seat on the board are competing for Place 9. Allen Kaplan was elected to a six-year term on that seat in 2012 but announced in July...
PolitiFact: Travis County vote registration hits 90%

PolitiFact: Travis County vote registration hits 90%

Nearly every voting-eligible Travis County resident has registered to vote in advance of the November elections, a local official declared. Bruce Elfant, the county’s tax assessor-collector and voter registrar, told reporters: “Since the 2012 election, we’ve added over 80,000 registered voters, which helps us get over our 90 percent voter registration goal,” set in January...
Candidates for Travis County DA spending heavily as Nov. 8 nears

Candidates for Travis County DA spending heavily as Nov. 8 nears

Prepared to make a late spending spree, Travis County district attorney candidate Maura Phelan says she will unload her campaign’s coffers before the Nov. 8 election. Phelan, a Republican, said she will use all of the remaining $22,509 she had on hand through the end of September. That’s roughly double the $10,908 she spent in the first nine months of 2016, according to her Oct. 11 campaign...
Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein: 'Texas is on fire'

Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein: 'Texas is on fire'

Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein praised what she called the courage of the Austin Green Party during a rally at Huston-Tillotson University on Monday night, declaring that “Texas is on fire.” “It is so exciting to see this movement burning across Texas,” said Stein, addressing a crowd of several hundred Texans in a chapel on the university’s campus. &ldquo...
Austin school board candidate Quintanilla leads in fund-raising

Austin school board candidate Quintanilla leads in fund-raising

David Quintanilla, CFO of Serrano’s Tex-Mex Restaurants and a school PTA secretary, has raised far more money than any candidate in this year’s school board races, with $48,050 — more than four times as much as his opponent, Cindy Anderson. As he runs for the at-large seat being vacated by board President Gina Hinojosa, Quintanilla has the endorsements of Hinojosa, former board members...
Critics say Austin transportation bond’s birth was insular, rushed

Critics say Austin transportation bond’s birth was insular, rushed

The criticism from Austin City Council Member Ora Houston, appearing on the American-Statesman’s Friday editorial page, was one familiar to those who follow Austin politics: Mayor Steve Adler and supporters of the $720 million transportation bond on the November ballot cooked up the plan through “a largely closed process.” The charge by Houston, who represents District 1 in Northeast...
Talking transportation bonds with Austin Mayor Steve Adler

Talking transportation bonds with Austin Mayor Steve Adler

Mayor Steve Adler has been the driving force in shaping and shepherding the $720 million transportation bond on the November ballot. He recently sat down with the American-Statesman to answer questions about the proposal. The conversation about going big on transportation is something that actually has been discussed since before I got elected. The transportation challenges we face in the city are...
Real estate executive, retired CEO competing for seat on ACC board

Real estate executive, retired CEO competing for seat on ACC board

A retired CEO of a nonprofit group and the director of a commercial real estate brokerage are competing to become one of the nine members of Austin Community College’s Board of Trustees. The prize in the race between Nora de Hoyos Comstock, the retired CEO, and Douglas Gibbins, the real estate professional, is Place 6. Guadalupe Sosa, who currently holds the seat, has decided to run instead...
Hispanic advocacy group urges politicians to engage Latinos

Hispanic advocacy group urges politicians to engage Latinos

The president of the largest Hispanic civil rights and advocacy group in the country urged politicians to engage Latinos and young voters during a stop in Austin on Thursday morning. “For us, this is about participation,” said Janet Murguia, president and CEO of the National Council of La Raza. “It’s about trying to create a culture of civic engagement and participation in...
Transportation, affordability central in Travis commissioner’s race

Transportation, affordability central in Travis commissioner’s race

Democrat David Holmes is angling to oust the lone conservative on the Travis County Commissioners Court, running against Precinct 3 Commissioner Gerald Daugherty in the Nov. 8 election. As the campaign nears early voting, the opponents are touting their different approaches to Travis County traffic snarls and keeping tax increases to a minimum. Daugherty, a Republican, served as Precinct 3 commissioner...
Student, consultant, legislative aide vie for seat on ACC board

Student, consultant, legislative aide vie for seat on ACC board

A student, a management consultant and a legislative aide are vying for Place 5 on Austin Community College’s Board of Trustees. Victor H.P. Villarreal won the seat in 2010 and currently serves as chairman — elected to that position by fellow trustees — but is not running for the board again. Like all nine seats on ACC’s board, Place 5 is elected at large by voters in the college&rsquo...
Travis County registers more than 90 percent of eligible voters

Travis County registers more than 90 percent of eligible voters

Travis County has surpassed its goal of registering 90 percent of its eligible voters, officials said Monday. “Since the 2012 election, we’ve added over 80,000 registered voters, which helps us get over our 90 percent voter registration goal,” said Bruce Elfant, the Travis County tax assessor-collector and voter registrar. The tax assessor’s office set the goal last January...
Polls on Austin transportation bonds yield sharply different results

Polls on Austin transportation bonds yield sharply different results

Two polls released in recent days on the city of Austin’s transportation bond proposition, one by an online news publication and the other by supporters of the proposal, provide starkly different pictures of the Nov. 8 ballot item’s prospects. Supporters and opponents are evenly split, according to a poll of 585 voters released Monday by the Austin Monitor, which covers local politics...
5 biggest debate reactions at the Alamo Drafthouse on Slaughter Lane

5 biggest debate reactions at the Alamo Drafthouse on Slaughter Lane

In a sign of the level of fascination with this presidential election, the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema on Slaughter Lane, in southwest Austin, devoted no fewer than three screens to the debate Sunday. Small American flags bedecked the theater. The youngish crowd was decidedly sympathetic to Hillary Clinton. Between bites of burgers and theater standbys, the audience hooted and laughed as the candidates...
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