Early voting for the midterm election ended Friday with Bexar County residents casting 42,124 ballots on the final day and more than 380,000 during the two-week period.
While the number didn’t reach that of the 2016 presidential election, when 46,651 people cast ballots on the last day of early voting, the turnout surpassed the same day in 2014 by 17,938 votes. Election Day is Tuesday, with polls open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Mayor Ron Nirenberg, who voted on Friday afternoon at Lions Field Adult and Senior Center, said he was heartened by how many San Antonians voted early in this election.
“This has been a slow moving but very progressive evolution of our electorate. … So many people are coming out, it’s almost mirroring a presidential turnout,” he said.
Friday’s numbers bring the cumulative in-person voting totals to 380,379, 56,352 votes short of the 2016 presidential election but breezing by the 2014 midterm election vote total of 168,774 votes.
Young voters ages 18 to 24 have nearly doubled their participation in early voting, Bexar County Elections Administrator Jacque Callanen said at a Friday press conference.
While that voting bloc usually makes up 3.6 percent to 3.9 percent of the Bexar County voting total, at the halfway mark of this early voting period, 18- to 24-year-olds were 6.7 percent of the total vote, Callanen said.
“That’s really exciting,” she said.
Nirenberg said he was encouraged to see so many young voters this election cycle.
“I think it’s critically important that young people turn out, increasingly so from one election to the next,” Nirenberg said. “It’s gratifying to see them come out in such an important election like this.”
Callanen said Wednesday she had expected to see a rush of voters at the end of the early voting period, something she welcomes because it represents high voter participation.
“That’s wonderful,” she said. “We all want to do high-fives as we walk by” lines at polling places.
The Bexar County Elections Department also sent out more than 46,000 mail-in ballots for the midterm elections, but returned ballots won’t be counted until Election Day, Callanen said. She predicted that more than 100,000 people would show up on Tuesday to vote.
“We had 122,000 on Election Day [in 2016],” she said. “We’re looking at those same sort of numbers, so it should be above 100,000 on Election Day.”
On Tuesday, voters are required to cast their ballots at their designated precinct polling spot. Find your polling place here.
Bexar County election officials have stated that as long as voters are standing in line at polling places by 7 p.m., they will be able to vote.