Travis County approves final vote counts for Nov. 3 election

Photo of a roll of "I voted early" stickers
Travis County has officially canvassed votes from the Nov. 2020 election. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

Travis County has officially canvassed votes from the Nov. 2020 election. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

Travis County commissioners voted Nov. 12 to approve the county's officially canvassed voting results for the November 2020 election. The vote passed in a 4-1 decision, with outgoing Precinct 3 Commissioner Gerald Daugherty voting against the motion.

The county clerk's office completed their canvass around 5 p.m. on Nov. 11, Travis County Clerk Dana DeBeauvoir told commissioners. DeBeauvoir reported that 612,696 voters cast ballots in the recent election. Most people in Travis County voted early, with only around 50,500 voting on Election Day, DeBeauvoir said. 69,559 people voted by mail—the biggest mail-in voting turnout in Travis County history, according to DeBeauvoir. The largest share of votes were cast by voters ages 18-34, who represented around 50% more votes than the next most prominent voting group—those aged 35-49.

"I am thrilled to welcome 18-34-year-olds to voting, and we hope they making voting in every election a priority for the rest of their lives," she said.

DeBeauvoir also addressed complaints from a small number of poll watchers—individuals appointed to observe vote-count proceedings on behalf of a candidate, political party or political action committee—that their access to the vote-counting process was inadequate. She said she had made multiple accommodations in response to complaints that came primarily from two poll watchers, "even though their complaints were not truthful." These accommodations included moving the majority of poll-counting operations to a larger space to allow more observers in a socially-distanced manner and eventually taking down plexiglass sanitary barriers in favor of giving poll workers protective gear, she said. Poll watchers were stationed in an adjacent observation room hooked up with monitors to help with viewing the proceedings.

"The idea that they couldn’t see anything—I would caution you that there is no truth to that," DeBeauvoir said. "I behaved in good faith the entire time."

A poll watcher for Republican House District 47 candidate Justin Berry called in and dissented with the clerk, saying the observation room provided did not facilitate adequate viewing.

"It is my testimony that I was not able to do my job," the caller, who identified herself as Carla Burke, said.

However, Precinct 4 commissioner Margaret Gomez said she attributed any controversy of this nature to a lack of education regarding election rules among the public. Additionally, Precinct 1 commissioner Jeff Travilllion said he commended DeBeauvoir for "putting the mechanisms in place to address an outpouring of interest [in election results] in our community."
By Olivia Aldridge
Olivia is the reporter for Community Impact's Central Austin edition. A graduate of Presbyterian College in upstate South Carolina, Olivia was a reporter and producer at South Carolina Public Radio before joining Community Impact in Austin.


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