January 28, 2014

10:40 p.m.

Celia Israel has won, officially, 59-41, a nearly 2,000 vote margin over Mike VanDeWalle. Final results show either all precincts reporting or 8 still not reporting, depending on what version is displayed. Both are true — the 8 not reporting are the polling places that never opened and all votes have now been counted and are accounted for.

I received an explanation of tonight’s confusing reporting of information from the Travis Co. clerk. Because several precinct locations were never opened today, voters were permitted to vote at any voting location. On a normal election day, voters may vote only at their designated precincts. Thus, votes brought in by a precinct location included votes cast from other precincts, creating a situation where all precincts had reported but no precinct had been fully counted. The 604 votes I reported as the cumulative total was actually an early tally of votes distributed back into their regular precincts. Because each precinct was identified as “reported” and “completed,” and because there were votes in many of them, I mistakenly concluded that this was the final total. As the night went on, more and more votes were put into the right precincts, and I began tracking down what happened.

The overall outcome was as first reported. Celia Israel was elected to serve out the unexpired term of former Rep. Mark Strama. Her vote total remained consistently at 60% all night. However, you should expect accurate and verified information from me, and, in this case, I jumped the gun.

10 p.m.

Celia Israel is delivering her victory address to supporters. She is holding at 60%.

The Travis Co. clerk counted precincts as “reported” when they indicated votes were ready to count. Normally, I would have considered 604 votes with all precincts reporting as an error and definitely not have reported it as fact. Given today’s weather conditions and reports of light turnout, closed polling places, kids unexpectedly at home and Court-ordered extended hours, it seemed plausible that so few could have voted. Fortunately, the number of election day votes is up to 4,661 and there appear to be about a dozen precincts reported, but not counted. I apologize for the error.

9:35 p.m.

The 604 have turned into 1,444 — looks like there are still some boxes out despite reports saying they are all in. Israel continues to hold at 60%

9:15 p.m.

Travis Co. clerk reports just 604 people voted today in the runoff. Celia Israel has won, 60%-40%.

8:05 p.m.

Celia Israel leads 59-41 in early voting

5:15 p.m.

Polls will remain open an additional hour to accommodate voters displaced by the daylong closure of eight precinct voting sites. Polls will close at 8 p.m. tonight.