By Moses Leos III
Kyle voters will hit the polls again next month as they attempt to settle the tie between a pair of candidates vying for the Kyle City Council District 1 seat.
On Tuesday, the Kyle City Council officially set June 11 as the date for a runoff election for the race between incumbent Diane Hervol and challenger Travis Mitchell. Early voting begins May 31.
The decision to hold a runoff came after voting results from the May 7 election remained the same following a recount on Monday.
Hays County elections administrator Joyce Cowan said the recount showed no change in the vote, which had Hervol and Mitchell in a 510-510 tie.
Mitchell, who owns Mitchell Motorsports in Kyle and is running in his first election campaign, said the results of the recount “showed the elections office did a great job on May 7.”
But Mitchell said he didn’t expect the numbers to change, even with the prospect of possible provisional or military/overseas ballots pending.
According to the city, there were no military or overseas ballots mailed-in, nor were there any provisional ballots.
“It didn’t come as a surprise,” Mitchell said.
Mitchell had concerns about voter fatigue which could limit the number of Kyle citizens casting ballots. He cited the March Primaries, followed by the May elections, and then the runoff.
Mitchell added that with only two candidates on the June 11 ballot, as opposed to eight total on May 7, it could mean fewer people casting their vote.
“It’s beyond frustrating to voters who are trying to participate,” Mitchell said. “They are being asked to come to the polls almost every month. We have to do something.”
Mitchell said changing the city charter from needing a majority vote to a plurality vote was one way to settle ties in the future.
He also believed the city’s charter amendment to move council elections from May to November could spur voter turnout in the future.
Mitchell said he plans to engage voters “in every way possible” and that he is “excited to move forward with my vision for Kyle.”
“My plan and my goal is to increase votes for me in this next election,” Mitchell said. “I’m giving it everything I can and in my power to get the message out. No excuses.”
Hervol was not available as of press time for comments.
Cost of Runoff Election
Total Cost: $4,534.20
Electronic voting system programming and testing: $375
Election kits and other election supplies: $152
Election judges and clerks – 9 clerks/judges x $140 on election day: $1,260
Election judges and clerks – 2 clerks/judges x $760 for 8 days of early voting: $1,520
Judges/clerks fees for pickup and delivery of supplies – 3 workers x $25: $75
Early voting ballot board personnel – 3: $90
Central counting station personnel – 2: $150
Manager and tech support personnel – 2: $150
Misc. election costs – sample ballots, processing payroll, postage, telephone, travel, add’l supplies, poll worker training: $350
County Election Services Contract Admin Fee: $412.20