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Eckhardt-Rodriguez runoff remains a question

Thursday, July 16, 2020 by Jo Clifton

When all the votes were counted in the Senate District 14 race early Wednesday morning, former Travis County Judge Sarah Eckhardt had 49.66 percent of the vote, or 59,267 votes, compared to 33.84 percent, or 40,384 votes, for state Rep. Eddie Rodriguez. It looked very much like a runoff. But it’s possible there may not be a need for that extra election, according to Travis County Clerk Dana DeBeauvoir. She said Wednesday that her office had just received 2,000 ballots in the mail that are eligible to be counted, “so I don’t think this race is over yet.” In addition, there are some number of provisional ballots. Ballots from military and overseas voters also have until Monday to arrive at the clerk’s office and be counted. The same is true for any other mail ballot that is postmarked on or before July 13. Kristin Miles, Bastrop County elections administrator, told the Austin Monitor her office had received an additional 63 mail ballots on Wednesday. There were also 11 provisional ballots from voters who were allowed to vote but could not produce an ID on election day. She said 10 of those voters had already provided proof of identification and their ballots will be counted. Both Travis and Bastrop counties will be canvassing their votes on July 23. After that, if no candidate has 50 percent of the vote, the governor will set a date for the runoff, which DeBeauvoir said she expects to be during the third week of September. DeBeauvoir also praised Travis County voters for being good citizens at the polls. “They all wore masks, they took care of one another, they followed social distancing protocols. They were just jewels,” she said.

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