It’s been more than a year since the coronavirus pandemic started, but the electoral machine keeps churning. Bexar County residents were able to vote in multiple elections despite the pandemic in 2020 and chose new county representatives, state officials, Congress members, and a president. This year, municipal races are on the ballot, and voters will choose all 10 San Antonio City Council district representatives and a mayor.

If you haven’t registered to vote, read on for information on how to do so and for more details about the election.

How can I determine if I’m registered to vote?

You can check your voter registration status here. All you need is your Voter ID number or Texas driver’s license number, your name, county of residence, and date of birth.

How can I register to vote?

Voter registration ends Thursday, April 1. The Bexar County Elections Department can get you registered, and the office is open 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

You also can register at libraries or through a volunteer deputy registrar.

When can I vote?

Early voting starts Monday, April 19, and ends Tuesday, April 27. Election day is Saturday, May 1. 

What do I need to bring with me to vote?

You need to provide one of the following seven forms of identification:

  • Texas driver’s license issued by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS)
  • Texas election identification certificate issued by DPS
  • Texas personal identification card issued by DPS
  • Texas handgun license issued by DPS
  • U.S. military identification card containing your photograph
  • U.S. citizenship certificate containing your photograph
  • U.S. passport (book or card)

If you don’t have one of the seven forms of identification listed above and can’t reasonably get one, you can bring one of these:

  • A copy or original of a government document that shows your name and an address, including your voter registration certificate;
  • A copy of or original current utility bill;
  • A copy of or original bank statement;
  • A copy of or original government check;
  • A copy of or original paycheck; or
  • A copy of or original of (a) a certified domestic (from a U.S. state or territory) birth certificate or (b) a document confirming birth admissible in a court of law that establishes your identity, which may include a foreign birth document.

If your name for some reason does not appear on the list of registered voters but you did register to vote in time, you can cast a provisional ballot.

Where can I vote?

The Bexar County Elections Department expects to have 36 early voting locations for the May elections. Find hours and locations here. Voters are no longer confined to specific precincts on election day and can vote at any Bexar County polling location on May 1.

What about absentee ballots?

You can vote by mail if you are:

  • Going to be away from your county on election day and during early voting
  • Sick or disabled
  • 65 years of age or older on election day
  • Confined in jail, but eligible to vote

The Texas Supreme Court determined in May that not having immunity to the novel coronavirus is not a “disability” does not qualify a voter to cast a ballot by mail. But the court also said that voters can consider their own health and health history to decide whether or not to apply to vote by mail due to disability.

You can request an application for an absentee ballot from the elections department, or print one out here. Applications for absentee ballots must be received by the elections department April 20, 11 days before election day. And for your vote to count, it must be received by 7 p.m. May 1.

What’s on the ballot?

In San Antonio, your ballot will show the candidates for your council district as well as for mayor. There also are a few propositions on the ballot to look out for. A citizen-driven petition put the repeal of Chapter 174’s implementation in San Antonio up to voters; that chapter of Texas Local Government Code allows police to collectively bargain their labor contracts with the city. And San Antonio voters will be asked to expand the use of bond money beyond public works through a proposed charter amendment.

The City of San Antonio is not the only Bexar County municipality that has items on the ballot. The following suburban cities will hold their own elections:

  • City of Alamo Heights
  • City of Balcones Heights
  • City of Castle Hills
  • City of Converse
  • City of Helotes
  • Town of Hollywood Park
  • City of Kirby
  • City of Leon Valley
  • City of Live Oak
  • City of Shavano Park
  • City of Somerset
  • City of St. Hedwig
  • City of Terrell Hills

Not all of these municipalities have City Council seats up for a vote; Alamo Heights is asking voters to weigh in on a street and maintenance tax, while Converse has two annexations and a charter item on the ballot.

The Alamo Heights, Harlandale, Judson, Northside, and San Antonio independent school districts have board seats up for election as well.

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Jackie Wang covered local government for the San Antonio Report.