It's Election Day For December Runoffs In Central Texas. Here's What You Need To Know To Go Vote.
You're not done voting yet. There are several Austin City Council races, an Austin ISD board race and a runoff for the Austin Community College board. None of the candidates in those races got 50 percent of the vote on Nov. 6, so the top two finishers are in a runoff. Election Day is today, and ballots open at 7 a.m.
Parts of Hays County also vote in the Austin City Council District 8 runoff. Parts of Hays, Williamson and Bastrop counties vote in the ACC board runoff. The City of San Marcos also has runoffs for two city council seats.
<strong>What You Need To Actually Vote </strong>
Make Sure You're Registered
Find Your Closest Voting Location
Consult the handy map below to find the most convenient polling place in Travis County. If you're registered to vote in Travis County, you can vote at any location.
If you have a photo ID that is up to date, or expired up to four years, bring that ID to the polls.
If you had trouble getting an ID and just don’t have one, you have some options:
- You can bring your voter registration card and use that as your form of identification.
- If you don’t have your registration card, you can bring any kind of official document – that’s anything that has your name and address on it — like a bank statement or utility bill. While you are at the voting location, all you’ll have to do is a sign a form that says you had a reasonable impediment to getting an ID.
Watch This Video
One more thing: We made this helpful video to steer you through the voting process. Travis County Clerk Dana DeBeauvoir and KUT's Jennifer Stayton are your guides.
<strong>What's On The Ballot </strong>
In Austin, City Council seats are on the ballot, along with the Austin School Board's at-large position and a board member position for Austin Community College. In San Marcos, there are two seats on the San Marcos City Council up for grabs.
<strong><strong><strong>Austin City Council </strong> </strong></strong>
If you live east of I-35 or southwest of Lady Bird Lake, it’s likely that you still have to finalize who's going to represent you at City Hall.
Candidates in City Council districts 1, 3 and 8 failed to get more than half of the vote in November. If you're not sure if you live in one of these districts, check out the map below.
Harper-Madison is an entrepreneur and community activist. She has served as board president of the East 12th Street Merchants Association. She also started East Austin Advocates, a group that tries to match low-income families to resources.
Salazar has worked with local, state and federal agencies in various capacities with a focus on affordable housing and ending homelessness. She came to the U.S. from Venezuela as a teenager.
The district incumbent, Renteria bills himself as a “lifetime citizen” of District 3. Renteria was involved with a number of neighborhood and community board groups before being elected to the District 3 seat in 2014. He also serves on the Capital Metro Board of Directors.
Almanza is a longtime neighborhood activist who has served on a number of city boards and commissions. She heads the local nonprofit PODER, People Organized in Defense of Earth and Her Resources. Almanza is also Renteria's sister. She previously challenged him for the District 3 seat in 2014.
Ellis currently works as a marketing and public involvement specialist for the Austin-based environmental consulting firm, ACI Consulting. Ellis has previously volunteered for the Texas Book Festival and Keep Austin Beautiful. She has also served as a state convention delegate for the Texas Democratic Party.
Ward currently serves on the city’s Parks and Recreation Board. According to his campaign website, he has previous experience working at the Export-Import Bank of the United States, the White House, the U.S. Senate and the Texas Capitol.
<strong><strong><strong>Austin School Board </strong> </strong></strong>
Arati Singh and Carmen Tilton are competing for an at-large position, so they will be on every ballot. Tilton led in the Nov. 6 election with 40 percent of the votes, and Singh had 36 percent.
Singh is a teacher turned education program consultant. For the past 20 years, she has been working as a consultant and evaluator of college access and STEM programs - first in Washington, D.C., and now at her own company, Raise Achievement. She has two children in AISD schools, a senior at Austin High and a sixth-grader at Small Middle School.
Singh began working in AISD on the PTA when her children attended Oak Hill Elementary. She has also served on the Austin Council of PTAs, working with parent-support specialists throughout the district. As a representative of the entire city, she says, she spends time at schools and in neighborhoods where residents don’t always attend board meetings.
“The district does usually listen to people who speak up, and I want to be the voice of people who also don’t speak up,” she says.
Singh also says she wants the district to be clear about its priorities as it faces budget issues.
Tilton has lived in Austin for 20 years and currently works in education policy. She is the current senior executive policy adviser for the Texas Health and Human Services Commission. She previously worked for former state Sen. Wendy Davis, U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro and other lawmakers as an education policy adviser. Tilton also worked at the Capitol with Gov. Greg Abbott on pre-K legislation.
“That’s probably where I bring the most value,” she says. As AISD continues to pay millions of dollars to the state in recapture, the district is trying to engage with lawmakers more on school finance.
“I know those members, I know Dan Patrick ... I know what their issues are, what they want to see, how things need to be framed," she says, "and I think that voice and that perspective is going to be incredibly important.”
One thing she wants to see the board improve is outreach to the community, including potential students. She has a 2-year-old and said she doesn’t see much marketing or outreach for pre-K programs or elementary schools. She says AISD needs to improve its marketing efforts because many elementary schools are under-enrolled.
<strong><strong><strong>Austin Community College Board – Place 8 </strong> </strong></strong>
Stephanie Gharakhanian led the Nov. 6 election with 49 percent of the votes, leading Sarah Mills who got 34 percent. These two will face off in the runoff for the board's Place 8 position.
Mills is the director of government relations for the Texas Association for Home Care and Hospice. She also served in policy roles at the Texas Health and Human Services Commission and Disability Rights Texas.
Gharakhanian is an attorney and currently works for the Workers Defense Project. She's served on various committees and task forces at ACC, including the Construction Wages and Working Conditions Task Force. She has also worked as a community organizer in Austin advocating for living wages in Central Texas, immigration reform and increased affordability in the city.
<strong><strong>San Marcos City Council </strong></strong>
Both Place 4 and Place 5 of the San Marcos City Council are on the ballot today.
Rockymoore is an English teacher who got his PhD at Texas State University in 2007. He has previously worked as a geographic information system technician, a contractor and previously served in the U.S. Army, according to his campaign website.
Scott previously served on the San Marcos City Council from 2010 to 2015 as the council member for Place 6. He attended Texas State University and served in the U.S. Air Force, according to his Facebook page.
Márquez is a research analyst at Texas State University, focusing on STEM education, according to his resumé.
Henderson is a lecturer of political science at Texas State University, according to his campaign's Facebook page.
Correction: An earlier version of this story misidentified Mariana Salazar's current job as a community organizer.