WEATHER WATCH
Can Travis County's one ballot drop-off site keep up with demand?
The Travis County Tax Office at 5501 Airport Blvd is now the only drive-thru location open for hand delivery of mail-in ballots in the county. (Photo: CBS Austin)

The Travis County Clerk expects to receive 100,000 mail-in ballots for the November 3rd election. 

That's about four times the usual number for a presidential election. 

Many of those voters will drop off their completed ballots at the post office, but election officials think all the people who aren't comfortable doing could put too much pressure on the county’s one drive-thru drop-off site.

Susan Nayak is getting a crash course in directing traffic. It's her job to funnel cars into one of eight bays set up to accept hand delivered ballots.

The Travis County Tax Office at 5501 Airport Blvd is now the only drive-thru location open for hand delivery of mail-in ballots in the county.


“I would call it steady today,” said Nayak.

While CBS Austin was at Travis County's drop off site at 5501 Airport Boulevard there were only a few breaks in traffic and at times the line of cars waiting to be directed to a bay was seven or eight deep.

“It's been like this pretty much all day,” said Nayak.

RELATED: Lawsuit over emergency ballots heads to Travis County district court

Several voters CBS Austin talked with described it as busy but not unbearable.

“It hasn't been too bad, actually,” said one voter.

The biggest hassle for some voters wasn't the process of dropping off their ballots which they said was five minutes or less. Their complaint was how long it took to drive to the county's one drive-thru site in North Austin.

“We come from South Austin, so we've come a long way,” said a Travis County voter.

It's now up to the courts to decide if Texas counties will be able to have more than one drop-off location and some voting rights experts aren't optimistic.

“Even if they reverse this decision, counties are probably not going to have time to go and put new drop boxes in place,” said Ryan Cox, Senior Attorney with the Texas Civil Rights Project.

The Travis County voters CBS Austin talked to say right now one location is inconvenient but manageable. Their concern is that closer to election day dropping off a ballot could become a bigger hassle than some voters think it's worth.

“I think they need more locations because it's going to keep ramping up as we get closer to November 3rd,” said a voter.

Travis County initially planned to staff four mail-in ballot drop-off locations. The other three were going to be in downtown Austin. Currently the only one open is located at 5501 Airport Boulevard in North Austin.

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