Kyle Council District 1 race ends in dead heat

by Moses Leos III

Kyle voters were unable to decide who would claim the Kyle City Council District 1 seat after incumbent Diane Hervol and candidate Travis Mitchell split the 1,052 total ballots cast right down the middle. 

Hervol and Mitchell ended Saturday tied as they each gained 510 total votes, according to final, unofficial results. Mitchell, who trailed Hervol by 46 votes after early voting, rallied to gain 143 votes to Hervol's 112 on Election Day. 

According to the unofficial, final results, only 1,052 of the 17,409 registered voters in Kyle, or 6.04 percent, cast ballots in the May 7 election. 

With the District 1 race in a stalemate, how it will be decided could depend on several factors. One factor could be any possible ballots that arrive from overseas. 

Hays County Elections Administrator Joyce Cowan said the county waits five days for ballots cast from outside of the country to come in. 

If there are ballots for the Kyle City Council District 1 race that are from outside of the country, Cowan said it could "change the outcome of the election."

But she said any ballots from outside of the country wouldn't be counted until Thursday. Any other votes from any other state that comes in before Thursday won't count. 

If the race isn't decided on overseas ballots, or if there are none, Cowan said there may be an automatic recount. Another option could be a possible coin flip to decide the seat, but Cowan said she "didn't see that happening." 

Cowan also said the county goes through "checks and balances" to make sure "we didn't have a provisional ballot." 

According to the Texas Secretary of State's website, a provisional ballot allows a voter whose name isn't on the list of registered voters due to an administratie error to vote. Provisional ballots also allow those who don't have a permanent exemption or photo identification with them at the polling place to vote.

Voters who cast a provisional ballot have six calendar days to present proper identifcation to the county registrar's office, or the ballot is rejected. 

If the vote is still tied, the race could enter into a runoff election. 

But Saturday's outcome was a surprise for both Hervol and Mitchell. 

Hervol, who has served on the dais for the past six years, said she has never seen a race end in a dead tie in Kyle. 

But she said after early voting results showed she held a lead, Hervol said she believed she would maintain that momentum. 

"I thought we could continue to stay ahead," Hervol said. 

Hervol added she, like Mitchell, will have "no choice but to wait," and that she has to "wait and see what the outcome is" on how the race will be decided. 

Mitchell, who rallied back on election day, said "it was a rough 90 minutes" between the release of early voting and final, unofficial results. Mitchell believed the 46 vote deficit "almost assured me a loss." 

"What an incredible thing," Mitchell said. "I'm just beside myself. I'm also thankful for my supporters for supporting me." 

Kyle City Council District 3

While Kyle voters couldn't decide who would take the District 1 seat, an overwhelming majority voted to reelect District 3 incumbent Shane Arabie. 

Arabie defeated challenger Randall Lloyd 533-393, according to unofficial, final results for the District 3 seat. He said winning with 57 percent of the vote is a "big number" and that it's a "big, resounding, 'yes,' that I'm doing a good job." 

"That's what I'm excited to see," Arabie said. "I'm just looking forward to keep moving forward and keep progress going." 

Hays CISD School Board 

Hays CISD school board District 5 candidate Esperanza Orosco claimed her spot on the dais after she defeated candidate Priscilla L. Harrell 345-206. 

Orosco led Harrell by 102 votes after early voting and kept the momentum on Election Day. Orosco gathered 101 votes on Election Day to Harrell's 64. 

Orosco will take over for current District 5 school board member Marty Kanetzky, who did not choose to run for reelection. 

Meanwhile, District 4 incumbent Merideth Keller won her reelection bid after she rolled past candidate Jonanna Mikulenka. 

Keller claimed the seat after she gathered 80 percent of the vote. Keller led Mikulenka by 197 votes after early voting numbers were released. Keller's lead grew on Election Day after she gained 235 votes to Mikulenka's 34. 

Emergency Service District No. 5 Special Election – Proposition 1

While only 135 voters cast ballots in the ESD No. 5's Proposition 1 election, the majority voted in favor of the entity's want to increase the rate of the local sales and use tax they levy. 

Roughly 64 percent of voters approved Proposition 1, while 35 percent voted against it. 

With Proposition 1 passing, ESD No. 1 will increase the rate of the local sales and use tax the district imposes from one-half of one percent to one and one-half percent. 

City of Kyle Special Election

Ten of the city's 11 Charter Amendment Propositions passed muster as voters overwhelmingly voted in favor of them. 

Of the ten amendments that were approved by voters, nine of those gathered 70 percent of the vote or higher in favor of them. 

That includes Proposition 6, which will move Kyle City Council member and mayoral elections from May to November. 

The lone proposition that failed was Proposition 4, which was shot down by only 20 votes. 

Had it passed, Proposition 4 would have amended the city charter to eliminate the requirement of city council confirmation on the dismissal of the Director of Finance. 

FINAL, UNOFFICIAL ELECTION RESULTS 

Kyle City Council District 1

Diane Hervol  – 510 total votes – 383 early voting (50%) 

Travis Mitchell – 510 total votes – 337 early voting (50%) 

Kyle City Council District 3 

Shane Arabie – 533 total votes – 390 early voting (57.56%) 

Randall Lloyd – 393 total votes – 281 ealry voting (42.44%) 

Hays CISD School Board District 4 

Merideth Keller – 525 total votes – 290 early voting (81%) 

Jonanna Mikulenka – 127 total votes – 93 early voting (19%) 

Hays CISD School Board District 5 

Esperanza Orosco – 345 total votes – 244 early voting (63%) 

Priscilla L. Harrell – 206 total votes – 142 early voting (37%) 

Emergency Service District No. 5 Special Election – Proposition 1 

For – 87 total votes – 64 early voting (64.44%) 

Against – 48 total votes – 34 early voting (35.56%) 

Kyle Charter Amendment Special Election 

Proposition 1 

For – 806 total votes – 579 early voting (81.50%) 

Against – 183 total votes – 122 early voting (18.50%)

Proposition 2 

For – 871 total votes – 623 early voting (86.49%)

Against – 136 total votes – 92 early voting (13.51%) 

Proposition 3 

For – 643 total votes – 456 early voting (65.08%) 

Against – 345 total votes – 244 early voting (34.92%) 

Proposition 4 

For – 468 total votes – 334 early voting (48.90%) 

Against – 489 total votes – 345 early voting (51.10%) 

Proposition 5 

For – 765 total votes – 546 early voting (78.30%)

Against – 212 total votes – 147 early voting (21.70%) 

Proposition 6 

For – 702 total votes – 506 early voting (72.60%) 

Against – 265 total votes – 181 early voting (27.40%)

Proposition 7  

For – 718 total votes – 614 early voting (74.48%) 

Against – 246 total votes – 78 early voting (25.52%) 

Proposition 8 

For – 859 total votes – 614 early voting (88.28%) 

Against – 114 total votes – 78 early voting (11.72%) 

Proposition 9 

For – 836 total votes – 606 early voting (86.54%)

Against – 130 total votes – 87 early voting (13.46%) 

Proposition 10 

For – 802 total votes – 576 early voting (83.80%) 

Against – 155 total votes – 106 early voting (16.20%) 

Proposition 11 

For – 912 total votes – 656 early voting (91.75%) 

Against – 82 total votes – 51 early voting (8.25%) 

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