In a record-breaking night with uncertain national results, Hays County voters broke previous turnout records and flipped the county. Overwhelmingly, Hays County voters went to the polls in support of Joe Biden, who garnered 54.28% of votes—59,213 ballots. President Donald Trump received 43.47% of votes with 47,428 ballots in his favor.
Trump narrowly won Hays County in 2016 with 46.87% of the vote to Hillary Clinton's 46.04%.
Although voter turnout hit 71.2% this year, up from 63.17% four years ago, some races were characterized by the votes that were not cast.
The races voters skipped
In the race for San Marcos CISD's board of trustees position for District 1, Juan Miguel Arredondo carried the election with 2,037 votes to challenger James Bryant Jr.'s 1,370 votes—a difference of 667. However, there were 943 undervotes in that race, or people who could have cast a vote for either candidate but elected not to.
A similar situation happened in the SMCISD race for District 3's board position with Mayra Mejia receiving 868 more votes than Nicholas Costilla, although 1,538 voters skipped over that race on their ballots.
Undervotes could have swung elections in every San Marcos City Council race and the mayoral race, some of which will go to a December runoff election because candidates received less than 50% of the vote in a race with more than two candidates.
The same can be said about races in the city of Kyle, where the mayoral race will also go to a runoff election. In Buda, undervotes could have swung City Council races.
Where these results could leave Democrats feeling raw is in races such as Hays County constable in Precinct 5 where 7,392 of the 20,311 voters—36.39%—did not support the unopposed Republican candidate.
The Hays County Democratic Party did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
A similar situation happened in the election for the 22nd Judicial District judge race where unopposed Republican candidate Bruce Boyer received 64.59% of the possible 108,573 votes. Some 38,442 voters elected to skip the race.
To a lesser degree, the Hays County Republican Party may have also missed opportunities. Incumbent Democrat Hays County Commissioner Debbie Ingalsbe of Precinct 1 had 21,171 voters in her precinct go to the polls or return absentee ballots, but 24.35% skipped her race.
The Hays County Republican Party did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Results were updated as of 9:40 a.m. Nov. 4 and are unofficial until they are canvassed and certified by the county clerk. Under Texas election law, the clerk accepts and counts mail-in ballots postmarked by Election Day and received by Nov. 4, if they were sent from inside the U.S., or Nov. 9 if they were sent from outside the U.S.
Visit the Community Impact Newspaper elections page to see results from all local elections in your community.