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Get out there and vote!

Thursday, May 17, 2018 by Jo Clifton

Even though there is considerable animosity between Democrats and Republicans in Texas, Travis County voters have given the May 22 runoff election a collective yawn. In a news release, Travis County Clerk Dana DeBeauvoir noted that “In the first day of early voting, an underwhelming 1.31% of registered voters cast ballots. With over 740,000 registered voters in Travis County who are eligible to vote in either the Democratic or Republican Primary Runoff Election, that means that only 9,737 votes have been cast – this includes over 6,900 by-mail ballots.” Voting picked up a little bit among Democrats on the second and third days, but by the end of the day Wednesday, the total for Democrats was only 14,821, or 2 percent of the total number of registered voters. Turnout was even worse among Republicans. Their three-day turnout was 3,469 or 0.47 percent. The total for both parties was 18,290, or 2.47 percent. These runoffs will decide which person each party puts up as the best candidate for the seat. For example, Democrats are choosing between Andrew White and Lupe Valdez to run for governor against incumbent Republican Greg Abbott. Democrats in House District 46 must also decide whether to elect former Council Member Sheryl Cole or her opponent Jose “Chito” Vela to replace retiring state Rep. Dawnna Dukes. Two women are vying in the Democratic runoff to face Republican state Rep. Paul Workman in November. They are Vikki Goodwin and Elaina Fowler. In Congressional District 21, where U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith is retiring, there is a heated runoff on both sides. Republicans are deciding between Chip Roy and Matt McCall, while Democrats are choosing between Joseph Kopser and Mary Wilson. In Congressional District 10, Democrats are choosing between Mike Siegel and Tawana Walter-Cadien to run against incumbent Republican Congressman Michael McCaul. Both parties are making decisions about judicial candidates that could have repercussions for years. “Come on everybody, we have 22 Early Voting Locations plus Mobile Voting Locations all week,” DeBeauvoir said. “Give our dedicated polling place staff some company this week by early voting.” Early voting ends Friday, May 18, with most polling locations open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. More information, including polling locations, sample ballots, and ID requirements may be found at www.votetravis.com.

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