Relatively heavy voter turnout for runoff elections

Competition, convenience driving people to the polls


SAN ANTONIO – Political enthusiasts often lament low voter turnout, especially in primary runoff elections like the one going on this month.

This year, however, turnout is way up in Bexar County. In fact, for a runoff election, turnout has been tremendous.

"We came into the first day of early voting looking at our models and expecting about 1,500 people to vote the first day. We had almost 6,500," said Bexar County Elections Administrator Jacquelyn Callanen.

The heavy turnout on Monday was no fluke.

"(The) second day, same thing. We looked to have 2,000 vote yesterday. We had 7,600 vote," said Callanen.

The turnout has been heaviest in northern precincts, and heavy for the Republican ticket. GOP participation is ahead of Democrats by a 3-1 margin.

"Both sides have an open U.S. Senate seat on them," Callanen said, "and as we know, there has been tons of advertising for that and so I think that's what's bringing the people out."

The convenience of early voting is really catching on in Bexar County, too.

"In Bexar County, we've been really blessed that people have embraced the early voting and so we always have a higher percentage," Said Callanen. "We're running about 55 percent of turnout comes out in early (voting)."

The initial estimate was that 11,000 Bexar County voters would participate in this month's runoff.

Now it appears that turnout could be between 30,000 and 35,000 voters.

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