We don’t need to tell you that there was an election last week in America. But, with so much of the media attention on our national races, we decided we’d take a few minutes to recap what happened locally.
Propositions – There were 11 propositions on the ballot in Austin this year. All seven of the bond related propositions passed (A through G), which means that the city will take out $925 million in bonds to pay for everything from affordable housing to parks. This also means that the average Austinite (with a home worth $332,366) will see their property taxes rise by about $60.
The two city charter amendments (H and I) also passed, while the two petition-led initiatives (J and K) were voted down. (J dealt with future rewrites of our city’s land development code, like CodeNEXT, while K called for an independent audit of our city’s budget.)
Mayor – Current Austin Mayor Steve Adler won reelection, earning 59 percent of the vote.
City Council – You may not know this, but in Austin, candidates must earn more than 50 percent of the vote in order to truly win an election. If no single candidate gets that many votes, then the top two vote-getters head to a runoff election, which will be held in December.
In this year’s election, three City Council races are headed to a runoff – District 1, 3, and 8.
Here’s the candidates who will be participating in the runoff:
- Mariana Salazar – 26.01%
- Natasha-Harper Madison – 25.07%
- Sabino “Pio” Renteria – 47.71%
- Susana Almanza – 21.31%
- Paige Ellis – 30.50%
- Frank Ward – 24.70%
In District 5, Ann Kitchen won reelection to her seat outright (although she did run unopposed). In District 9, incumbent Kathie Tovo also won reelection with almost 53 percent of the vote.
Voter Turnout – Travis County voter turnout was the highest for a mid-term election since 1990. What’s more, 2018 voter turnout (61.33%) also exceeded the percent turnout for the 2000 and 2004 presidential elections.
That’s according to Bruce Elfant, Travis County tax-assessor collector (who is also in charge of voter registration for the county).