Elections 101
Elections 101

Elections are a powerful thing. It might sound cliche, but they really are one of the best ways to make your voice be heard and create a positive impact on this world. 

 

But they also can be really confusing! With so many names on the ballot and the craziness that comes with a 24-hour news cycle, it can be hard to figure out what you’re even supposed to pay attention to. 

 

At The Austin Common, we’re dedicated to actually explaining the news and giving you the tools you need to cast an informed ballot by Election Day, with a special focus on local elections. After all, these are the races that can have the biggest impact on your everyday life… and they’re often the ones that get ignored. 

Keep an eye on this page, because as we get closer to the next election, we’ll be posting all our easy-to-read election guides right here! Want to make sure you don’t miss anything? Be sure to follow us on Instagram (@The_Austin_Common) and/or subscribe to our weekly email newsletter

The Next election is on... November 8th 2022

Mark your calendars! The next election is on November 8th. 

 

Important dates:

  • Early voting starts on October 24th and lasts through November 4th 

  • The last date to register to vote for this election is October 11th 

What will be on the ballot?

  • 5 City Council seats are up for election this year (Districts 1, 3, 5, 8, and 9). You can figure out which Council district you live in here

  • Mayor of Austin (after serving for two terms, Mayor Steve Adler is leaving office at the end of 2022, making this a pretty big mayor’s race with no incumbent running)

  • Local propositions – In Austin, there will likely be several propositions on the ballot, addressing issues like affordable housing, school funding, and police accountability. 

  • Several important statewide positions, including Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and Attorney General 

  • And many more!

Past Election Coverage

May 2022 Local Elections

The May 7th, 2022 election included one local propositions + two statewide propositions. 

 

The local City of Austin proposition (Proposition A) decriminalized marijuana and banned no-knock warrants in Austin. 

 

The Austin Common created a guide covering Prop A, and statewide Props 1 & 2. We also recorded a podcast episode about Prop A

On March 1st, Texas held primary elections for dozens of statewide & local races.

 

The Austin Common created 7 election guides, covering races for local judicial seats, Travis County Commissioner, & Texas House District 51. 

 

We also recorded 2 podcast episodes and interviewed 25 candidates running for local office, with a focus on often-reported judicial positions (like County Court at Law & Justice of the Peace). 

On January 25th 2022, Austin held a special election for the District 4 City Council seat (after Council Member Greg Casar announced he was leaving office to run for Congress). 

 

This is an important local position, but since the election was held at such a weird time, voter awareness was low. That’s why The Austin Common created a complete election guide (that was easily shareable on Instagram) & recorded a podcast episode with the candidates. 

On November 2nd, 2021, an election was held that featured two local City of Austin propositions and eight statewide propositions. 

 

The Austin Common created in-depth guides on local Prop A (about police funding) and Prop  (about parks). We also created social media posts raising awareness about the election & recorded a podcast episode focused on Props A & B. 

On May 1st, 2021, the City of Austin held local elections for eight different ballot propositions, covering topics from homelessness to the very structure of our local democratic system. 

 

The Austin Common created easy-to-read guides for all eight of these propositions & recorded three podcast episodes. In partnership with the Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, we also translated all of our election guides into Spanish.

November 3rd 2020 was a major presidential election, but there were also lots of important local races on the ballot. Here at The Austin Common, we tried to make sure those local elections didn’t get ignored with our Vote Local campaign. Together with the HOPE Campaign, we installed get-out-the-vote murals (painted by local artists) alll around town. 

 

We created 12 election guides covering City Council races & local Prop A (which funded Project Connect, our city’s first real transit system) and Prop B (which provided funding for sidewalks & bike lanes). We also recorded six podcast episodes.