AUSTIN, Texas - Travis County had a record turnout at the polls before November 3rd even arrived, setting sky-high expectations for the total number of voters.
More than 607,000 people voted in Travis County during the November 3 election. "70.4 percent is our turn out for this election. That’s rockstar turn out. Our folks did really great," said Travis County Clerk Dana DeBeauvoir.
The previous record for ballots cast in the county was about 477,000, meaning this year 130,000 additional voters hit the polls. However, with around 80 percent of them turning out during the three week early voting period, the lines were shorter on Election Day itself. Some of that, DeBeauvoir said, is pandemic related.
"One of the things that we noticed, is that because a lot of people seem to be working from home, we didn’t see that 5 o’clock rush-hour turnout like we usually see," said DeBeauvoir.
For the most part, everything went smoothly on Election Day. "For all the chatter and talk on social media threatening actions at the polls, we did not see any problems at all," DeBeauvoir said.
Ballot boxes started rolling into the county clerk's office around 8 p.m. All but one from Leander made it there without much delay.
"They filled out an affidavit, so we’re going to hear what the story is, but basically they just had a little bit of trouble closing down and then an extremely long drive back in," said DeBeauvoir.
Not all races in Travis County have been decided. Debeauvoir said it will be just as important for voters to turn out again to decide city council and Austin ISD runoffs next month.
"They’re just gonna have to take a deep breath, catch a little rest and then come back out again for the December 15 runoff," said DeBeauvoir.
The county clerk said there may still be some mail-in and military ballots arriving this week. Travis County ballots will be canvassed on November 12.