MAP: Darker-colored areas on the map represent voting boxes with higher percentages of voter turnout, normalized to adjust for the wildly varying populations of the county’s 40-plus voting precincts. Lighter-colored areas represent lower turnout.
FROM STAFF REPORTS
Fewer Hays County residents cast ballots last month during nearly two weeks of early voting than in any general election since 2006. When polls closed Friday, 20,803 people had voted compared to 23,824 at this stage in 2010, the last non-presidential general election year.
One has to go back eight years — four election cycles ago — to find weaker voter participation. In 2006, only 13,254 people voted early, about a third fewer than this time around.
On Election Day, the electorate will finalize its choices for public offices that run the hierarchy from San Marcos and Buda city council members on up to governor, U.S. senator and three congressional seats, depending on where in the county one lives. Polls will be open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 4.
As far as Hays County elected offices go, there is limited action to be had. The Hays County Democratic Party managed to field candidates in only three races which include a long-shot bid by Abel Velasquez (D-San Marcos) to unseat County Judge Bert Cobb (R-San Marcos) and a rematch between County Clerk Liz Q. Gonzalez (R-San Marcos) and longtime deputy clerk Gina Islas-Mendoza (D-San Marcos), whom Gonzalez beat in 2010 and promptly sacked upon taking office.
Then there is the election cycle’s closest thing to a marquee match-up: Veteran Hays County Court-at-Law Judge Linda Rodriguez (D-Kyle) is fighting to keep her bench against a formidable challenger in state prosecutor David Glickler (R-Buda), a deputy chief in Attorney General Greg Abbott’s Criminal Investigations division.
In one of the local campaign season’s rare flashes of excitement, Glicker acknowledged to the Austin American-Statesman last week that he was arrested on a charge of driving while intoxicated in 2004 and subsequently pled guilty to reckless driving, a lesser misdemeanor. It remains to be seen if Glicker’s decade-old indiscretion will blunt the strong GOP headwind Rodriguez faces in her bid for a seventh term. If she succeeds in doing so, the judge will be the only Democrat holding countywide office; if Glickler succeeds, he will have completed the Hays County Republican Party’s resurgence.
On the east side, voters will also decide whether to authorize nearly $386 million in bonds to fund construction for the Austin Community College District and $55 million in bonds to pay for transportation infrastructure in Buda. In southeastern Hays and southwestern Caldwell counties, people will pick their representative on the Edwards Aquifer Authority board of directors.
On the west side, Wimberley area residents are filling a school board vacancy and choosing one of five directors for the Hays Trinity Groundwater Conservation District.
|Precinct||Votes cast through 10/31/14||Registered voters||Percentage turnout (%)|
COVER: FILE PHOTO via FLICKR
CORRECTION 10:54 p.m. NOV. 2: This story should have said that Hays County Court-at-Law Judge Linda Rodriguez is seeking a seventh term, not a sixth. She took office in 1990.Email | Print