The election for Austin City Council was held on Saturday, May 14, 2011. Three seats on the council were on the ballot and results in two of those contests resulted in a declared winner taking more than 50% of the popular vote.
Place 1 elections resulted in incumbent Chris Riley retaining his seat on the City Council by earning 65.87% of the vote.
Place 4 elections resulted in incumbent Laura Morrison retaining her seat on the City Council by earning 72.79% of the vote.
The contest for Place 3, however, did not result in any candidate earning more than the 50% threshold, so the top two vote-getters for that seat will face off in a special runoff election in June.
The results of this election were determined by approximately 33,000 voters, representing just 7% of the registered voters who were eligible to participage in this election. Turnout is generally low for City Council elections, even though these people have a much more direct impact on our lives than state level or federal level political figures. This election continued the trend of extremely low voter turnout.
Here are some important details about the runoff election:
The Place 3 election results were posted on the City of Austin website.
• Kathie Tovo 14,846 (46.38 percent)
• Randi Shade 10,530 (32.90 percent)
• Michael “Max” Nofziger 4,562 (14.25 percent)
• Kris Bailey 2,069 (6.46 percent)
The top two candidates, Kathie Tovo and incumbent Randi Shade, will enter a runoff election to determine the winner of this seat. The votes cast in the previous round do not count in the runoff balloting. Both candidates will enter the runoff with zero votes.
The runoff election will be held on Saturday, June 18, 2011
Early voting will take place from June 6 – June 14.
Voting will take place in the same locations as the general election. Please visit the City of Austin website for the complete listing of early voting locations by clicking here.
Anyone registered voter within the City of Austin may participate in the runoff election, even if they did not vote in the initial contest.
So, even if you were unable to vote before, you still have an opportunity to make your voice heard in determining the Place 3 Council Member.
To learn more about the runoff candidates, please visit their official websites:
Additionally, The League of Women Voters of the Austin Area issued their Voters Guide for the upcoming City Council elections for the City of Austin. Responses to questionaires sent to each of the candidates are provided in the guide. Candidates were restricted to a specific word count and their involvement was voluntary.
The questions that were asked of each candidate were:
Question 1: “What training and experience qualify you for this office?”
Question 2: “What are your priorities for addressing Austin’s traffic problems?”
Question 3: “Since Austin Energy annually transfers a portion of its revenue to the City of Austin’s general fund, how do you propose to balance Austin Energy’s financial solvency with the city’s growing revenue needs?”
Question 4: “Austin currently had six council members and the mayor elected under a citywide, or ‘at-large’ system. Do you support or oppose a change from the at-large system to single-member districts or another council configuration? Please explain.”
Question 5: “Given the city’s budget constraints, what city services, programs, and tax incentives would you reduce?”
Both Kathie Tovo and Randi Shade responded to the questions and have put their political platform on display in an effort to allow voters to make a more informed decision. Please take a look at the complete voters guide, including the responses to the questionaires, by clicking here.