Bexar Elections Office sees record increase in voter registration

Bexar County may hit one million mark by November

SAN ANTONIO – Bexar County’s population growth, combined with the fervor over this year’s presidential election, have led a record increase in voter registration, according to Jacque Callanen, elections administrator.

“We’re at an all-time high right now,” Callanen said. “We’re at 974,000 as of today.”

She said the Bexar County Elections Office has seen an increase of 100,000 potential voters since the 2012 primary, the largest yet as of Monday, the last day to register for the March 1 primary.

Callanen said she expects another increase after that, leading up to the presidential election.

“We should hit a million by November,” Callanen said.

She said if so, about half of those may actually vote, a typical percentage in Bexar County during presidential elections.

“That’s wonderful. 500,000 people stand up and take care of democracy,” Callanen said. “It wouldn’t get better than that.

Dr. David Crockett, who chairs the political science department at Trinity University, said they’ll have even more reason to vote this time.

“We could on March 1 see a real race in the Republican Party in Texas, and that means Texas votes will matter,” Crockett said.

With no clear winner yet in either party, the races are still wide open unlike years past, Crockett said.

“They’ll fight for it here. We’ll see a lot of action,” he said.

Crockett also pointed out, of the 14 primary states voting on Super Tuesday, Texas is the largest.

He said a factor in the turn-out could be whether voters see former San Antonio mayor and U.S. Housing Secretary Julian Castro as a potential running mate for Hillary Clinton.

Crockett said Clinton's campaign may be influenced by whomever the Republican’s decide, perhaps senators Ted Cruz or Marco Rubio, candidates with Spanish surnames.

He said Republicans will have to ask themselves, “Do they keep with Donald Trump, whose number one right now, or is the luster off the Trump shine?”

Whoever is nominated by their respective parties could have to convince up to a million registered voters in Bexar County, if Callanen’s prediction is correct.

“I think we’d be very, very busy, which would be fantastic,” she said.