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New voting machines, voting centers contribute to larger turnout in Bexar County elections

SAN ANTONIO (KTSA News) – The voter turnout in the Texas constitutional amendment election was much larger than expected in Bexar County. The final tally shows 106, 634 Bexar County residents voted this time around, which is way over the 38,000 plus votes cast in the 2017 election.  While 100,000-plus sounds like a lot, it’s only 9.57 percent of more than a million registered voters in Bexar County.

“I’m not sure if it’s the vote centers, new equipment or the amendments and the elections here in town,” said Bexar County Elections Administrator Jacque Callanen.

For the first time, local voters were allowed to cast ballots at any of the 284 voting centers on election day, instead of having to vote in their home precincts. The Bexar County Elections Department also debuted new voting machines that leave a paper trail. There were reports that at least a couple of voting centers ran out of ballot cards Tuesday, but Callanen says they have a “failsafe measure” so that voters can continue casting their ballots.

“Everyone of our sites has an electronic unit that we use for curbside voting. It’s much like what we had before,” said Callanen.

While voting centers are more convenient for voters, election officials had no way of knowing which sites would draw larger turnouts. That’s something Callanen will be studying before the 2020 Presidential Election.

Election returns were reported at a slower pace Tuesday night, but Callanen chalks it up to the new voting system.

“It’s a new process and the judges are taking their time. We’re proud of them. They’re taking their time to close the units and do it well,” said Callanen.

She’s calling the elections process a success.

For information on area races, visit the Bexar County Elections Department website.

For final elections results on the Texas Constitutional Amendments, visit the Texas Secretary of State website.


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