Unlikely alliance distrusts local 2020 primary results

Delayed by software issue, elections administrator stands by the outcome

An unlikely alliance between the chair of the Bexar County Republican Party and an indicted former constable has been formed to protest the results of the 2020 primary one week ago.

SAN ANTONIO – An unlikely alliance between the chair of the Bexar County Republican Party and an indicted former constable has been formed to protest the results of the 2020 primary one week ago.

Cynthia Brehm is now in a runoff to reclaim her position as the local GOP chair, and Michelle Barrientes Vela lost her race for Bexar County sheriff.

“It’s not sour grapes when you have the community coming to you and asking what happened,” Barrientes Vela said.

Bexar County Elections Department investigating glitch that delayed results for hours

Brehm agreed saying she is trying “to preserve democracy.”

Both women went before the Bexar County Commissioners on Tuesday, alleging instances of discrepancies and corruption in the March 3 primary.

Brehm, who will oversee Republican precinct judges canvassing the election, said given her lack of faith in the results, “Guess what? We don’t certify. You don’t have an election. What are you going to do, throw it out? They have to do the whole thing over again.”

But, if she is in the minority when they vote on Wednesday to certify the results, Brehm said she’s checking with the Texas Secretary of State about whether she can overrule their decision.

However, Bexar County Elections Administrator Jacque Callanen said any plans to overturn the election are between Brehm and the state Republican party. But as for their concerns, Callanen said, “It was just a misinterpretation or misinformation. I stand behind this election.”

Texas March 2020 Primary Election Results

Apparently so do Bexar County commissioners, after listening to Callanen’s explanation of the what occurred. Even so, they agreed an opinion is needed by the county’s IT department regarding the software problem.

County Judge Nelson Wolff said they should get with the Election Systems and Software technicians who are still here trying to figure out why the $12.5 million system crashed three times, delaying the consolidation of the results for hours.

Callanen said she now expects results could change because many more mail-in ballots came in after March 3 than initially estimated, at least 1,400 mail-in, military and provisional ballots.

She said once both political parties canvass the results Tuesday and Wednesday evenings, the official results will be released.


About the Authors:

Jessie Degollado has been with KSAT since 1984. She is a general assignments reporter who covers a wide variety of stories. Raised in Laredo and as an anchor/reporter at KRGV in the Rio Grande Valley, Jessie is especially familiar with border and immigration issues. In 2007, Jessie also was inducted into the San Antonio Women's Hall of Fame.