Austin, Texas – When the early voting results came in on Saturday, supporters on both sides shared their reactions.
“We are very pleased with the results so far,” said Equity Action’s Kathy Mitchell.
“Not surprised. It’s Austin, let’s face it, the Portland, the Seattle, the San Francisco of Texas, but disappointed. I think it must be disheartening for the men and women of the Austin Police Department to see these results,” Kevin Lawrence of Texas Municipal Police Association said.
The two propositions look very similar, but it boils down to the level of oversight.
Proposal A includes the sentence “…discourages police misconduct and brutality by strengthening civilian police oversight”, while Proposition B simply says “…strengthens civilian police oversight”.
RELATED: Austin voters will decide the extent of the police department’s oversight
Prop A, backed by Equity Action, is essentially more oversight than Prop B, which is backed by Voters for Oversight and Police Accountability (VOPA) and the Austin Police Association.
“Prop A creates a very reasonable but effective system of civilian oversight. We believe officers who are comfortable working by the rules should have no problem with it, and I think it is the first step to healing the community.” Mitchell said.
“I think we’re going to see litigation from this. I think there’s no doubt about it. I think it’s going to make it harder for the city and the union to sit down and negotiate a new contract. But more importantly, it’s going to make it a lot harder for the Austin Police Department.” fill their ranks,” Lawrence said.
As for turnout, Travis County employee Dyana Limon-Mercado says it’s on par with other local elections.
About 28,000 people cast their votes on Election Day and about 50,000 voted early.
“We typically expect about five to seven percent in a local election. These results are on track. We’re about six and a half percent or so for voter turnout,” Limon-Mercado said.