The large vintage photos of elections and campaigns hanging in the Bexar County Elections Office represent the task Jacque Callanen undertook 23 years ago.
“It’s why we here. It’s why we continue to keep this democracy alive,” Callenen said. “It’s all about the voter.”
When she started as Bexar County elections administrator, Callanen said not only were paper ballots being used but “we were still holding elections in private citizens’ garages.”
But now, technology and cybersecurity risks have added to the increased demands and complexity of the job for Callenan and other elections administrators.
Aware that some administrators are no longer doing what she does, Callanen said, “It’s tough losing your compadres. But I understand. I do understand.”
“It’s all about the voters,” said Callenen, who often shares the credit for her continued commitment to the voters of Bexar County.
"I've been blessed with a fantastic staff, and our election officials have stuck with us," Callanen said.
“I just love her,” said Melissa Arredondo, an elections official with city of Alamo Heights, during a training session ahead of a municipal election in May. “Just the wealth of knowledge that she has and that she shares.”
Still ahead is a veritable “club sandwich” of elections, Callanen said.
Early voting in February, the March 3 primary, joint elections -- including municipal races -- and the primary runoff in May, will be topped off with the November general election in a presidential election year.
Through the years, whenever Callanen is asked whether she has any predictions, she always responds by saying her crystal ball is still fuzzy.