SAN ANTONIO – The state of Texas is already reporting a record number of registered voters, with 16 million and counting, which could be reflected in Bexar County as well.
The Bexar County Elections Office spokeswoman says preliminary numbers may be available Monday at a news conference to remind potential voters that Feb. 3 is the last day to register for the March 3 primary.
She said, based on what officials have seen so far, 2020 could be another record year for voter registrations.
The first time that Bexar County hit the 1 million mark was for the 2016 general election, and again in 2018 for the midterm elections.
Walt Wilson, an associate professor of political science at the University of Texas at San Antonio, said he expects both parties to mobilize new voters.
Wilson, the author of a new book about Latino voters, said many of the new voters could very well be minorities. He said the most significant gains in voter registrations have occurred in counties “where the white population overall makes up 40%.”
Wilson said that suggests “a very large number of our new registrants are Hispanic, Latino or another minority group.”
However, he said, that could make non-minority voters even more determined to have their voices heard.
“That kind of fear or messaging really appears to mobilize a certain section of the electorate,” Wilson said.
Even so, he said, both sides will likely try to motivate voters through social media and “dramatically sophisticated efforts using digital outreach.”
Young first-time voters also will play a significant part this election year, said Raven Douglas, deputy director of Move Texas, which targets those potential voters.
“A lot of them see it as the biggest election of their generation and are ready to get engaged,” Douglas said.
Being one of the fastest-growing states in the nation, Wilson said those moving to Texas also could affect the political landscape.
“Like all traditions will, you know, begin to fade away as we become newer and change in terms of who makes up the new Texas,” Wilson said.