A man walks toward the Lion's Field poll site.
U.S. District Judge Fred Biery on Monday ruled that all state voters regardless of age qualify for a mail-in ballot during the coronavirus pandemic. Credit: Bonnie Arbittier / San Antonio Report

With one hour left to go until polls close, 28,768 voters have cast ballots on election day. Close to 82,000 residents voted during early voting in person and this runoff election’s turnout has surpassed the turnout from the May 2019 election.

By 6 p.m. Saturday, a total of 110,537 votes had been cast in person through early voting and election day ballots.

Voters are weighing in on four runoff elections, including City Council seats to represent Districts 2, 4, and 6 and the mayoral race.

In the last municipal runoff elections, held in June 2017 for the mayor’s office and six city council positions, 69,503 voted in early voting, and a little less than 30,000 cast ballots on election day. The 2019 municipal runoff elections vote totals also surpassed the 2017 runoff elections.

Polls will be open until 7 p.m. throughout the city of San Antonio on Saturday. Find your polling location here.

Adelfa Reyna, a campaign volunteer for Mayor Ron Nirenberg’s re-election bid, sat outside Lions Field Adult and Senior Center early Saturday morning in a bedazzled “RON” baseball hat, remarking that she hadn’t seen many voters that morning. At a polling site for five precincts, she was surprised by the sparse election day turnout.

“Most people probably early voted,” Reyna said. “I would bet that today will probably be 30 percent of the overall turnout.”

Elsewhere, polling sites were similarly empty Saturday morning.

At Martin Luther King Academy in District 2, there were no cars in the parking lot and no campaign volunteers around. In District 2, voters will choose between Keith Toney and Jada Andrews-Sullivan as their next city council person.

In District 4, volunteers for Adriana Rocha Garcia planted themselves outside South San Antonio ISD’s Shepard Middle School. Garcia faces Johnny Arredondo for the District 4 seat.

“It’s been real slow,” Augie Llano said at 9:45 a.m. “I think I’ve seen maybe six people. I think the majority early voted.”

By 9:30 a.m., 10 people had voted from three precincts at Shepard.

Llano, who has volunteered on campaigns for a number of years, said runoffs can have a strange or unexpected impact on election results. He previously volunteered for a campaign where his candidate was favored going into the runoff, but surprisingly was beat.

At Guerra Library in District 6, brothers Oscar Santos and Hector Santos, sat in the parking lot, waving Greg Brockhouse and Melissa Cabello Havrda signs as potential voters pulled into the parking lot.

Havrda faces Andy Greene in the District 6 runoff election.

Hector observed that the day had been pretty slow so far and that the majority of voters were older in age – he hadn’t seen many individuals in their 20s or 30s coming to cast ballots.

Oscar added that he hopes turnout picks up throughout the day and he sees a lot more people of all ages stopping by.

“We are all entitled to our own opinion and to come out and vote,” Oscar said. “It’s our American privilege.”

“It is just so sad that 10 or 11 percent represent our city,” Hector added.

In the May 2019 general election, the turnout was 11.47 percent with 110,365 people casting votes.

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Emily Donaldson

Emily Donaldson reports on education for the San Antonio Report.