Bexar County elections officials address issues experienced on first day of early voting


SAN ANTONIO – Bexar County’s election system is running on technology it received in 2002, which has raised concerns in the community, specifically during a crucial election that had voters rushing to the polls for the first day of early voting Monday.

Technology issues at some voting sites have a state senator pushing for big changes in the county.

“We were one of the first counties in the nation to go to the electronic voting. It has served us well. It's really the workhorse of the election side. Is it time for a new one? Possibly,” said Jacque Callanan, with the Bexar County Elections Office.

Callanan said there were issues at three polling locations Monday, but not with computers as was rumored. The problem was with the printers that create labels after a voter is identified, qualified and officially checked in.

“The staff had to hand write those, which slowed things down, but at no time did it not qualify the correct voter,” Callanan said.

“There's no excuse for us to use antiquated methods. I'm confident that both County Judge (Nelson) Wolff and the commissioners court will step up to the plate to make the voting accessible, easier, better, and it can be done,” said state Sen. Jose Menendez, D-San Antonio.

Funding would have to come from the Bexar County Commissioners Court. But Menendez said the state needs to help, as well.

“I'd like to see what can Texas do improve and get new machines. I would like a machine that gave every voter a paper receipt,” Menendez said.

The problematic printers were fixed, and extra staff members will have laptops to help facilitate early voting Tuesday.

Anyone who is disabled and cannot get out of their car to get in line and vote can have an election judge bring out a ballot to them.

Early voting ends Nov. 2.

About the Author: