AUSTIN, Texas - After months of back-and-forth over several hot issues on the ballot in Austin, the May election is just one day away.
On Saturday, voters will decide the fate of several proposals, most notably the homeless camping ban — which has already driven large numbers of people to the polls.
Political experts, as well as Austin Mayor Steve Adler, say when all is said and done Saturday, the vote on Proposition B could be very close. Supporters of the camping ban argue it’s about protecting the future of the city, and addressing what’s become a major safety issues. But opponents say imposing penalties for sitting, lying and camping only serves to criminalize people experiencing homelessness.
Either way, the issue has certainly motivated voters on both sides. In Travis County, nearly 14% of registered voters voted early in this election. That’s strong turnout for a May election, and that trend is expected to continue on Saturday.
Travis County Clerk Dana DeBeauvoir says election officials are prepared to handle it—with 98 vote centers open for Election Day. She said big crowds are possible, but not likely.
"If you want to go online to the county clerk's office so that you can get all of the locations, you can pick the one that's convenient for you. As I said, they're all vote centers, so you can go wherever you want. Wear comfortable shoes, and you may even want to bring a bottle of water, although I do not think there will be lines at all. I think you're going to be able to walk in, walk out. Wear a mask. That says that you're taking care of other people's loved ones in the same way that they're taking care of yours," said DeBeauvoir.
In all, there are eight propositions on the ballot in Austin. Here’s a look at that ballot and others throughout Travis County:
For Austin and Travis County polling locations and other election-related info, head to votetravis.com. You can also call (512) 238-VOTE if you have questions about your ballot, the voting system or where to vote.