Turnout traditionally increases towards the end of early voting, and the 2012 Austin City Council elections are no exception.
3,448 ballots were cast yesterday, the second-to-last day of early voting. That brings total overall votes to 17,162, or 3.60% of Austin's registered voters. Continuing its lead status among Austin's polling places, Randalls’ Research Boulevard and Braker Lane location saw 441 ballots cast on Monday.
As you can see in the graph above, the late surge mirrors early voting patterns in Austin's 2009 mayoral election, and 2011's City Council election. But despite Monday's increased turnout, which bested this voting cycle's strongest single day of turnout by 1,000 votes, voting still lags behind Austin's last mayoral election.
Speaking with KUT News yesterday, Sherri Greenberg , the Director of the Center for Politics and Governance at the LBJ School of Public Affairs, speculated on the lessened turnout. “Certainly the last mayoral race was fairly heated,” she said. “It was an open seat, you didn’t have an incumbent mayor running. In this mayoral race, I think things are getting a little bit more heated as we speak. Whether or not it will approach what we saw last go around, I don’t know, and I think that the turnout is really going to hinge on that.”
Early voting ends today. Below, KUT News has mapped Austin's 18 polling places, including hours of operation.
Both 2009 and 2011 posted their strongest totals on the final day of early voting. But with a drizzly day on tap, will this low-turnout election break even that trend?
Election day is May 12.
View Austin Early Voting Locations in a larger map