A last-day rush of early voters swelled the eight-day turnout to 60,326 voters, nearly 7,500 more than the 52,859 who voted early in the May 9 General Election. A total of 10,753 people voted Tuesday.
Voters will choose Saturday between interim Mayor Ivy Taylor and former state Sen. Leticia Van de Putte for mayor, and District 7 voters will decide whether to keep incumbent City Councilmember Cris Medina or elect his challenger, Mari Aguirre-Rodriguez, who held the seat for two months last year by appointment while Medina took a leave of absence to fulfill reserve military obligations.
The mayor’s race between Taylor and Van de Putte is generally regarded as the tightest contest since Phil Hardberger defeated then-Councilmember Julián Castro in the 2005 runoff.
Only 97,697 people, 12% of the city’s 693,925 registered voters, participated in the May 9 General Election. More than 62% of them voted early. If the same pattern follows in the runoff, turnout will be a few percentage points higher, still lower than the 18.8% that voted in the 2005 runoff, when 129,991 people voted.
Officials seem flummoxed by the low voter turnout in local elections, and more than one officeholders has suggested more voters would participate if local elections were held in November, the same time of year as state and federal elections. This year, special election campaigns for state offices were held over the Christmas and New Year holidays and the general election campaign was interrupted by Fiesta in April.
Polls will be open from 7 a.m to 7 p.m. on June 13. Click here for Election Day poll sites. Voters must show a Texas driver’s license, passport or other legal identification with their photo.
*Featured/top image: A “vote here” sign points potential voters in the right direction at Bowden Elementary School. Photo by Scott Ball.