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What's in a card? Bexar County elections updating voters' addresses

Voter registration cards sent out every other year

SAN ANTONIO – If you’ve received a blue and white or manila card in the mail lately, you’ll want to look it over and make sure the information is correct.

It’s likely your Bexar County voter registration card and you’ll need it to go to the proper voting location during the next upcoming election.

Cards are mailed out to voters every other year. In Bexar County, the task is not only costly but takes a lot of manpower due to how mobile the population is.

“Just the postage alone for the first mailing is $242,000,” Elections Administrator Jacque Callanen said.

The county’s general fund pays for the postage.

Address verification is a two-step process. First, cards go out to voter’s last known address. If for some reason a person doesn’t live at that address, the cards can’t be delivered and return to the Bexar County Elections Department. A second mailing then goes out that can be forwarded to a person’s address on file with the United States Postal Service.

Callanen said there’s 959,000 registered voters in Bexar County and 19 permanent employees in the elections department. From 2014-15 staff oversaw 14 elections in 14 months, according to Callanen. During voter registration card time, the elections department takes on about 15 temporary workers to help with the workload. Temporary worker’s payrolls are paid by the state under a fund called Chapter 19.

The cards were mailed out on Monday, Nov. 30. USPS expected a two-day turnaround. However, non-deliverables are returning to the elections department at a slower than usual rate. But, that might be a good thing, because it likely mean’s they’re landing in the right person’s mailbox.

Voters in Texas can update their addresses online.

Bexar County is one of 254 counties across the state participating in the voter registration card process but lies in the top five counties for the number of registered voters, according to Callanen. More than 17 million cards are going out to voters statewide.