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Grocery Stores In Travis County Won't Be Polling Sites During The July Election

Voters line up outside Fiesta to cast ballots in the 2016 presidential election.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon
Voters line up outside Fiesta to cast ballots in the 2016 presidential election.

Travis County voters won’t be able to cast their ballots in grocery stores during July’s runoff election. Travis County Clerk Dana DeBeauvoir said the option is too risky during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Grocery stores are out of the question,” she said. “They are doing everything they can to feed us and we are entirely grateful for their extra efforts, but there is no way to provide safe voting and proper social distancing for that group of people when we already have such crowded conditions in the grocery stores.”

Travis County residents have been voting at grocery stores since the 1990s; they quickly became, by far, the most popular voting sites in Austin.

They are not the only locations that won’t be available during the election. DeBeauvoir said other sites – including Austin Community College campuses – have decided not to open their doors to voters during the pandemic.

“We have had some locations that have said, ‘No, we don’t want to take the risk,’” she said. “And you know, that’s their prerogative.”

DeBeauvoir said voters who plan to vote in person during the July runoff election should look into what polling locations are available. She said overall there will be fewer voting sites this time around – roughly 20 early voting locations and 100 vote centers on Election Day.

“There will be some differences,” she said. “Voters will have a different pattern of vote centers on Election Day and early voting.”

The primary runoff – as well as the special election for the state Senate seat held by Kirk Watson – is scheduled for July 14. Early voting will run from June 29 to July 10. 

Got a tip? Email Ashley Lopez at Follow her on Twitter @AshLopezRadio.

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Ashley Lopez covers politics and health care. Got a tip? Email her at Follow her on Twitter @AshLopezRadio.
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