With City Council runoff elections set, Austin clerk raises concern over polling locations

A voter exits a polling place on Election Day on Nov. 3. (Christopher Neely/Community Impact Newspaper)
A voter exits a polling place on Election Day on Nov. 3. (Christopher Neely/Community Impact Newspaper)

A voter exits a polling place on Election Day on Nov. 3. (Christopher Neely/Community Impact Newspaper)

Austin City Council’s District 10 and District 6 will require runoff elections to determine which candidates will sit on the dais for the next four years. Early voting begins Dec. 3, and election day is Dec. 15; however, where constituents in the district will vote remains a question.

City Clerk Jannette Goodall is still working to finalize a list of polling locations for early voting, which will run from Dec. 3-5 and Dec. 7-11. During a Nov. 17 meeting where City Council officially called for the runoff election, Goodall said even in a normal year, nailing down polling locations for December runoffs is much more difficult than November general elections. Goodall said coronavirus restrictions and the recent uptick in cases have made the process even more complicated.

“It’s a complete moving target that gives me heartburn and indigestion and, I will admit, is the worst two weeks of the year for me,” Goodall told City Council.

District 10 Council Member Alison Alter, who is in a runoff against challenger Jennifer Virden, said she was concerned there were no early-voting polling locations in the southern and far north portions of her West Austin district. Goodall said she was struggling to coordinate with potential polling places and that the list was still being finalized.

City Council voted to approve the draft list of early voting locations, which are included in the map below. Goodall said she expects to add a few more locations to the list by later this week. She said a final list will be brought to City Council on Dec. 1 for a final approval.

Austin ISD’s board of trustees also met Nov. 17 to call its own runoff election for two seats on the board, District 5 and the at-large seat for place 8. Lynn Boswell faces Jennifer Littlefield in the District 5 race, while Noelita Lugo faces Leticia Moreno Caballero for the at-large position. The board also approved the draft list of Travis County early voting locations.

By Christopher Neely
Christopher Neely is Community Impact's Austin City Hall reporter. A New Jersey native, Christopher moved to Austin in 2016 following years of community reporting along the Jersey Shore. His bylines have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Baltimore Sun, USA Today and several other local outlets along the east coast.


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