AUSTIN (KXAN) — Only 48,415 out of 804,694 eligible voters in Travis County cast ballots in early voting for the constitutional amendment elections, according to the County Clerk’s Office. That’s a turnout of 6%.
Well below the clerk’s office projected turnout of 13-15% for this election.
The statewide predicted average for voter turnout is 13%, and Travis County is hopeful for a rebound on Election Day, Tuesday, November 5.
Travis County Clerk Dana DeBeauvoir met with KXAN outside Ben Hur Shriner’s, one of 155 polling locations. She shared her feelings on the low numbers.
“Early voting has been a much lower turnout for this election than we had hoped for, and typically that turns out to be true for election day too,” DeBeauvoir said.
But she still has hope.
Sometimes voters surprise us, so we could see a surge today, partly attributable to the fact that constitutional amendment elections always confuse voters.DeBeauvoir
This confusion is due in part to voters not knowing what they’re voting for.
“We have Proposition A from Travis County for the Exposition Center, we have Proposition A and B from the City of Austin. And those have got people a little bit confused,” DeBeauvoir said.
If you are confused about anything you are voting on in this election, the County Clerk’s Office invites you to visit the Vote Travis website.
“The website has a lot of information. And the league of women voters who are just terrific… they’re 4-1-1 website will be able to give you the ballot for your particular area, plus a rundown on all of the constitutional amendments elections, pro and con. They’re really the best about helping you with research,” DeBeauvoir said.
Don’t forget your documents
There are items you must remember to be able to vote.
“When you come out and vote, be sure to bring your photo ID, and any of the IDs that come from the department of public safety, or a passport will work,” DeBeauvoir said.
New voting machine reception
On the plus side, the new voting machines have seemed to become a hit with voters.
“Voters have been very comfortable and very happy with our new voting system. They really like the paper trail, and they say once they get started with the new voting system, it’s very intuitive and very easy,” DeBeaubvoir said. “For the voters who haven’t tried it yet, I think they should be calm. If they find any trouble with the system, you know something they don’t know what to do, just raise their hand… ask questions. It’s new for all of us.”
For those who haven’t voted yet, you can find out more information here.