A long line of voters forms outside of Ed Rawlinson Middle School, a polling site.
Bexar County officials predict a high number of voters will cast their ballots on election day, Tuesday. Credit: Bonnie Arbittier / San Antonio Report

Election officials said Monday they are prepared for a strong turnout on Super Tuesday after seeing a surge during the last two days of early voting.

In Bexar County, 138,076 residents voted in person and by absentee ballot during the early voting period from Feb. 18 through Feb. 28. That’s 20,617 more votes than were cast during early voting in the primary in 2016, the last presidential election, but a smaller percentage of the registered voting population.

In 2016, 12 percent of registered voters cast ballots early, with 976,842 registered in the county. This year, there are 1.13 million Bexar County residents registered to vote in the March primary and 10.8 percent of registered voters cast ballots.

Bexar County Elections Administrator Jacque Callanen said at a Monday news conference that the elections department expects to see more voters on election day than in-person early voters.

“I think a lot of people were waiting for [the presidential primary in] South Carolina on Saturday,” Callanen said. “I have high hopes we’ll see a lot [of voters] tomorrow.”

Statewide, the early vote and mail-in ballot turnout surpassed 2 million votes. Voters cast more Republican primary ballots than Democratic; just over 1 million people voted in the Democratic primary, while 1.09 million voted in the Republican primary. According to an early voting report from Republican political consultant Derek Ryan, that turnout could be attributed to the high number of contested Republican congressional primaries around the state.

Democratic presidential candidates have made strong efforts to woo San Antonio voters before Super Tuesday. Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg stopped by Hangar 9 on Sunday. Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren visited Sunset Station last Thursday with former candidate Julián Castro. And Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders greeted supporters at Cowboys Dance Hall after winning the Nevada caucuses on Feb. 22.

Voters can cast ballots for presidential candidates on the Republican and Democratic primary races. Though 17 candidates appear on the Democratic ballot, nine have already dropped out (including former San Antonio mayor and secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julián Castro).

Since early voting ended, three candidates have bowed out: Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobucar; South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg; and billionaire Tom Steyer.

On the Republican ballot, voters will see seven candidates – including current President Donald Trump – and an “uncommitted” option, which means their vote will go toward sending an uncommitted delegate to the Republican National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, in August.

Seeking his fourth term, Texas Sen. John Cornyn also faces four primary challengers in the Republican primary, while 12 Democratic candidates have thrown their hats into the ring for a chance to challenge Cornyn in November. MJ Hegar, an Air Force veteran who made an unsucessful run for Congress in 2018, holds a strong lead in the Democratic primary, according to the latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll, but will likely be pushed into a runoff with one of the other candidates.

Voters also will select party nominees in county races, including three county commissioners’ seats and for Bexar County Sheriff. There are key races in some Texas House and congressional districts, too. Read on for more information on how to vote on Super Tuesday. And don’t forget – if you are in line by 7 p.m., you can still vote.

Where can I vote?

Voters are no longer confined to specific precincts on election day and can vote at any Bexar County polling location on March 3. There are 280 vote centers around Bexar County, and you can find the vote center nearest to your home or workplace here and a full list of vote centers in Bexar County here. Each vote center should also have posted a list of the four closest vote centers and how to get to each of them, for voters who want to skip any long lines.

What’s on the ballot?

Primary voters can ask for either a Republican or Democratic ballot but can vote only for candidates in that party if a runoff results.

In addition to congressional races, Texans will vote on nominees for railroad commissioner, state supreme court justices, and members of the Texas Criminal Court of Appeals. Find the full list of primary statewide races here.

There are multiple races in play in the Texas Senate and Texas House. State Sen. Pete Flores, who flipped a historically blue district in a 2018 special election, is unchallenged in the Republican primary, but four candidates are running in the Democratic primary for the right to challenge him. State Sen. José Menéndez (D-San Antonio) has no challengers. All Texas House seats are up for election.

Bexar County voters can cast ballots for county commissioner in Precincts 1, 2, and 3, county sheriff, county tax assessor-collector, county constable in precincts 1, 2, 3, and 4, justice of the peace for precincts 2 and 4and district court judges.

Each party’s primary ballot will list several propositions, which range from asking voters about prayer in schools to voters’ rights. The propositions do not set any laws or policies, but act as a barometer for parties to gauge voters’ support for different issues. The Republican Party of Texas website explained the propositions this way: “When you vote YES or NO, you are telling us what you think should happen. You are not voting to make a law but merely saying you agree or disagree with the statement.”

There are 11 propositions on the Democratic ballot and 10 on the Republican ballot.

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.

When can I vote?

Election Day is Tuesday, March 3. Vote centers are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. If you are in line by 7 p.m., you can vote.

What do I need to bring with me to vote?

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

  • Texas Driver 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
  • United States Military Identification Card containing your photograph
  • United States Citizenship Certificate containing your photograph
  • United States 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 also 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 which 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 also cast a provisional ballot.

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

Absentee ballots must be received by 7 p.m. on Tuesday, March 3 for your vote to count.

Have more questions?

Check out VoteTexas.gov. Or ask us, and we’ll find an answer for you.

Jackie Wang covered local government for the San Antonio Report.