Update from 22:00: More voters from Travis County voted on Tuesday compared to the first day of early voting for the 2016 general election, the Travis County Cabinet said.
The official announced on Tuesday night that 35,873 people in the county had voted on the first day of early voting this year – more than 2,200 voters than was announced on the first day of early voting in 2016.
In addition, district officials said they had received 22,577 mail ballots as of Tuesday. The county said it had received 2,294 ballots in the mail by the end of the first day of early voting in 2016.
The three places for early voting with the highest reported turnout on Tuesday were the Austin Central Library with 1
Update at 8:15 p.m.: More than an hour after the early voting lines were cut off on Tuesday, several polling stations showed seven seats with a longer than 51-minute waiting time, according to the online waiting time map of Travis County.
The seven venues were: Austin Oaks Church, Bee Cave City Hall, Parque Zaragoza Recreation Center, Rock Gym Pflugerville ISD, Round Rock ISD Hartfield Performing Arts Center, Shady Hollow Village Shopping Center and Westlake United Methodist.
Seven other locations, including the Dittmar Recreation Center, which reported malfunctions of the voting machine on Tuesday morning, had a waiting time of 21 minutes or more, according to the district official’s office.
According to Travis County, there are a total of 37 early voting sites, according to the official’s office.
A spokeswoman for the Travis County office told the US statesman that they had not received any reports of law enforcement calls in response to incidents involving polling stations.
Update from 6:15 p.m.: Travis County employee Dana De Beauvoir said that at 6:00 p.m., 32,000 people voted on Tuesday.
As of 18:00, 32,000 people had voted in Travis County. There is one hour left to vote today! If you are in line until 19:00, you can vote.
– Travis County Clerk (@TravisCoClerk) October 13, 2020
Update from 3:45 p.m.: By 3:30 p.m., at least 24,000 people voted in Travis County on Tuesday, according to Travis County official Dana De Beauvoir.
The average afternoon update on Tuesday precedes the turnout in 2016. On the first day of early voting in the 2016 general election until 16:00, 24,000 people voted in Travis County.
Earlier, officials announced record numbers of voters in Travis and Bastrop counties.
Lunch update: As of noon, 14,000 people in Travis County voted, said Travis County Secretary Dana De Beauvoir.
She said the first day of early voting was the busiest, but expected the queues and waiting times to run out in the next few days.
“This is quite normal behavior and I think by day two or three you will find that the lines are less scary,” De Beauvoir said. “There is so much enthusiasm there. Voters are in a good mood and take care of each other by wearing masks and social distancing. Everyone is just having fun. So go out and vote.”
Voters at the Dittmar Recreation Center in South Austin reported malfunctions of voting machines on Tuesday morning, causing longer waiting times than unusual.
DeBeauvoir said many technicians are deployed across the country to help solve such problems and ensure the machines work and work. The malfunction at the Dittmar Recreation Center has been resolved, she said.
“When that happens, people, don’t stop voting,” she said. “Voters can put their ballot in the ballot box and that will still be judged … technical problems can happen at any time, and when they do, it’s about when and how quickly we can resolve it.”
11:15 a.m. Update: As lines wrap around polling stations in Travis County on Tuesday morning, Travis County tax collector Bruce Elfant reports that almost all Travis County voters are registered to vote this year.
Of the county’s more than 850,000 eligible voters, a record 97 percent were registered to vote in the Nov. 3 general election, Elfant said.
“This number even exceeds my expectations,” Elfent said. “Thank you to everyone who registered to vote. To our civilian army of volunteers who registered voters, thank you. Thank you to my voter registration staff.”
He attributes the electoral activity to the Text2Register county contactless voter registration program, which is used by more than 4,700 county residents.
He also credited the Department of Athletics at the University of Texas for public service communications.
Travis County Secretary Dana DeBovoir said the county had received 78,000 requests for ballots in the mail. Of those, 75,000 were sent to voters’ mailboxes and 14,400 were returned, she said.
Ballot papers will not be collected until 7 a.m. on election day, she said.
10:15 a.m.: In the first three hours of Tuesday’s early voting, more than 6,000 Travis County voters cast their ballots in person, Travis County Secretary Dana De Beauvoir said.
Voters lined up at some of the county’s 37 polling stations overnight so they could vote properly when polling stations open, DeBeauvoir said.
High turnout led to long queues and long waiting times. Most waiting times for polling stations were 20 minutes or more at 9:50 a.m., according to the Travis County website.
Voters at Ben Hur Sanctuary announced a three-hour standstill, and another in Pflugerville said she had been in line for several hours on Tuesday morning.
At the Shady Hollow Village in South Austin, voters were cheered on by those still waiting in line. Like the marathon finalists, voters were praised with shouts of “You did it!” or “It was worth it!” when they left the voting center.
A pregnant woman who waited in line for three hours was told she had a story to tell her baby.
DeBeauvoir said he was aware of threats on social media for people ahead of the election.
“I’m pretty sure this is the same threat we’ve heard before and it never happened. I don’t think it will happen this time either,” she said.
Earlier: Minutes after the opening of early voting polls in Travis County, voters reported long queues and waiting times.
Voting booths opened at 7 a.m. and 7:15 a.m. At least 11 of them had a waiting time of 20 minutes or more, according to the Travis County waiting time map. Three more polling stations waited 10 to 20 minutes.
Many polling stations still had short waits at 7:15 a.m., including the Austin Central Library, the Austin Recreation Center and the Dietmar Recreation Center.
Early voting in Travis County: Here’s where you can vote
The timeout map can be found online: https://countyclerk.traviscountytx.gov/elections/current-election.html.
The voting line at Shady Hollow Village, at the intersection of Brodie Lane and Slaughter Lane, has slipped from the new polling station near JuiceLand at the north end of the mall to Whataburger at the far south.
The line continues to grow, voters said. Voters wore face masks, and two women handed out water and snacks to those in line.
According to the National Weather Service, temperatures were cool 58 degrees at 7:25 a.m.
Current news editor Roberto Villalpando contributed to this report.