People walk into the William R. Sinkin Eco Centro to vote.
The early voting turnout has increased in Bexar County since the last constitutional election in 2017. Credit: Bonnie Arbittier / San Antonio Report

As early voting ended Friday, Bexar County surpassed the last constitutional election total turnout in this year’s early voting period alone, Elections Administrator Jacque Callanen said.

In 2017, 38,801 people – or 3.7 percent of registered voters at the time – cast ballots in the November election (and approved all seven constitutional amendments). As of 2 p.m. Friday, more than 38,000 people voted early. Callanen said she expected to end the day with 39,000 voters.

“We’ve had a wonderful turnout,” Callanen said at a news conference Friday. “Amendment elections are usually very quiet and very slow.” 

Some of that increase in turnout can be attributed to population growth, Callanen said. In 2017, there were about 1,049,000 registered voters. This year, there are about 1,114,000 registered voters. 

The draw of testing the County’s new voting machines might also be bringing out more voters than usual, Callanen said. There are also elections for small municipalities in Bexar County, as well as bond elections.

“This is an important election,” said Callanen. “Every election is important. We have three entities on our ballot holding bond elections, so that may be driving turnout.”

Bexar County Elections Administrator Jacque Callanen speaks about the early voting totals and new voting machines.

Either way, Callanen said it was encouraging to see an increased turnout.

“We feel good that, with six hours to go, we’ve matched that number [of 2017 total turnout],” Callanen said. “No way are we going to double that number, but it’s still a success.”

Early voting was to end at 8 p.m. on Friday. Voters can vote at any of the 36 early voting locations. Find locations and hours here. Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 5. Questions on what to bring with you to the polls or what’s on the ballot? Find more information here.

Jackie Wang covered local government for the San Antonio Report.