A man walks into the William R. Sinkin Eco Centro to vote.
A man walks into the William R. Sinkin Eco Centro at San Antonio College to cast and early vote in October 2018. Credit: Bonnie Arbittier / San Antonio Report

With just days left in the early voting period, Bexar County’s attendance at the polls has slowed. But the decrease in votes was to be expected as parents readied their kids for trick-or-treating, Elections Administrator Jacque Callanen said Wednesday.

“Today is slower than the other days,” Callanen said. “We expected it because it’s Halloween.”

On Wednesday, the Bexar County Elections Department reported 26,127 votes. That’s 10,389 fewer than the 10th day of early voting in 2016, but 10,607 more votes than the same day in the 2014 midterm election.

As in past years, the middle of the early voting period sees a dip in turnout, Callanen said.

“It’s following the exact same pattern,” she said. “Our two busiest days will be tomorrow and Friday as people realized it’s their last chance to vote early.”

Early voting ends Friday, and Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 6.

Callanen celebrated when the County passed the 250,000-vote mark Tuesday morning, and Wednesday’s total brought the in-person early-voting total to 306,398 votes. Bexar County hasn’t seen numbers that high in a midterm election year before, she said.

“I looked at the numbers this morning. When we finished last night, we were at 280,000 votes,” she said. “When I go back to 2014, through that same day, we had 125,000 people vote. So you can see how exciting that is.”

Callanen reminded voters that cellphones are not allowed at poll sites, and the law requires they be turned off or put away. Unfortunately, people often forget the rule and get upset when election officials tell them, she said.

“The election officials are there to comply with the law and make voting an easy and a pleasant experience for everyone,” Callanen said. “Be respectful and thank the election officials. They’re the backbone, and I’m so proud of the staff and all the people working the polls.”

And though it was Halloween, she said election officials did not dress up in costume.

“Some of the staff asked, but no,” she said. “That’s our standard policy. We want to keep the respect at the polls everyone is due when they come in to vote.”

Find out more about where you can vote and answers to other voting questions you may have here.

Jackie Wang covered local government for the San Antonio Report.