First day early voting turnout may exceed 2008

Local Democratic Party leader raises concerns

SAN ANTONIO - First day early voting in Bexar County so far may exceed 2008, according to Jacque Callanen, elections administrator, who estimates 2,800 vote an hour were being cast on Monday.

Callanen said at that rate, the first day turnout could top 30,000, compared to 29,119 in 2008.

However, at least one of those voters, Manuel Medina, the Bexar County Democratic Party chair, said, “I went to vote today and I was not allowed to vote.”

Medina said when he asked why his booth had a blank screen, an election judge at the Cody Branch Library said he had already voted.

Callanen said that was based on the identical number of voters signed and votes cast.

“A vote had been cast for something,” Callanen said. “Whether it was a blank ballot, the machines do cast blank ballots.”

Medina said he was allowed to vote after about half an hour.

However, Callanen said there is an affidavit documenting what occurred in advance of a post-election audit.

Medina said he had gone to the Cody Library initially to confirm voters were being put in two lines, for those with and without their voter registration cards.

“The Supreme Court said you can’t treat us differently, so there has to be one line,” Medina said.

Callanen said the state’s Voter ID law is not in effect now.

She said the two lines are meant to speed up the process at the busiest polling places, and not to intimidate voters.

“It’s just our efficiency it’s conveying,” Callanen said, adding it has been done in prior elections as well.

She said there were no other reports of blank screens, but the Igo Branch Library did have a late morning, 40-minute power outage.

However, Callanen said a triple back-up system prevented any votes from being lost.

For a list of recent stories Jessie Degollado has done, click here.


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