With November fast approaching, Bexar County is gearing up for its fourth election this year.

Early voting for the Nov. 2 election starts on Monday, Oct. 18.

This year marks a constitutional amendment year, and voters will have the chance to weigh in on eight different state constitutional amendments. History indicates that voter turnout will be low; less than 10% of registered voters have participated in constitutional amendment elections since 2009, the oldest data available on the Bexar County Elections Department’s website.

But there is more at stake than constitutional amendments on November’s ballot. Four Bexar County-area school districts are posing bond programs to their voters, to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars. Several suburban cities are voting in new mayors and city council members. Universal City is considering a homestead exemption. And the Texas House District 118 seat needs to be filled after former state Rep. Leo Pacheco left his post for a San Antonio College job in August.

While Bexar County voters are not eligible to vote in all of these races, they will at least see the statewide constitutional amendments on their ballots. Read on to find out how to vote.

Am I registered to vote in this election?

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?

Early voting starts Monday, Oct. 18, and ends Friday, Oct. 29. Election day is Tuesday, Nov. 2. 

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 41 early voting locations for the November election. 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 Nov. 2.

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 last May that not having immunity to the novel coronavirus is not a disability and 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 by Oct. 22, 11 days before election day. And for your vote to count, it must be received by 7 p.m. Nov. 2.

What’s on the ballot?

For residents of Texas House District 118, the runoff election between Democrat Frank Ramirez and Republican John Lujan will be on the ballot. Ramirez and Lujan emerged from a special election in September; whoever wins this runoff will serve out the rest of former state Rep. Leo Pacheco’s term. 

There are also eight state constitutional amendments on the ballot. One would allow organizations “sanctioned by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association or the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association” to host charitable raffles at rodeo venues. Another would allow counties to use bonds to develop transportation or infrastructure in “unproductive, underdeveloped, or blighted areas in the county.” Find a full list of the constitutional amendments proposed here.

Other items that Bexar County voters may see on their ballot:

  • Alamo Heights Independent School District wants voters to ratify its property tax rate.
  • The City of Converse is asking its voters to choose the next mayor and three city council members.
  • The Green Valley Special Utility District has candidates for “director positions at large” on the ballot.
  • The City of Helotes is proposing the adoption of a local sales and use tax at the rate of 1.25%.
  • Four board trustee positions are up for election in the Schertz-Cibolo-Universal City Independent School District.
  • The City of Schertz has two city council position on the ballot.
  • The City of Universal City is asking voters to consider a homestead exemption on people who are disabled or 65 years of age or older.
  • The City of Windcrest’s voters will select their new mayor and two of their city council members.
  • East Central, Judson, Southside, and Comal Independent School Districts all have bond propositions on the ballots for voters.

Find a sample Bexar County ballot here.

Have more questions?

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

Jackie Wang

Jackie Wang is the local government reporter at the San Antonio Report.