72ºF

Upcoming elections in Bexar County, San Antonio impacted by COVID-19

Majority of local elections postponed until July, November

SAN ANTONIO – What was expected to be a very busy election season is now a matter of “wait and see,” said Bexar County Elections Administrator Jacque Callanen.

Callanen said almost all of the municipal and school boards elections scheduled for May 2 have been postponed until the general election on Nov. 3.

Only a few elections are pending approval by individual government entities, Callanen said.

For instance, the Pre-K 4 SA board made its decision to postpone its election asking voters to approve extending the sales tax portion funding of the program. Callanen said moving that election to November still needs City Council approval.

Those decisions are "out of our control," she said.

Bexar County commissioner calls for investigation into primary election

Callanen said her office is also waiting for direction regarding the May 26 primary runoff that is now scheduled for July 14, preceded by a week of early voting.

“We’re working forward as if that’s going to be a go,” Callanen said. “But of course, we have to wait on the Secretary of State’s office and the Governor’s office.”

As for using mail-in ballots, Callanen said those are only sent to four categories of voters: those over 65, the disabled, those out of the county or country, or in jail but haven’t been convicted.

Record 253,000 vote in Bexar County for primary election amid software issues

Callanen said it's too soon to say how the November general election will be affected.

But, she said, it's certain that ballot will be "extremely long" because it will include the May races that were postponed.

To help avoid a similar delay holding up election returns, Callanen said, “We’ve configured it differently so we get the early vote.”

Read how the local Democratic and Republican parties of Bexar County are handling the crisis.

Bexar County Democratic Party Chairwoman, Monica Alcántara:

"First and foremost, I am working closely with the state party and local authorities to keep our community healthy and safe during this crisis. I understand that many Bexar County residents are making a lot of sacrifices right now, but we cannot sacrifice our Democracy. Know that I am working extremely hard to ensure that every voter gets to exercise their right vote in a safe way.

While the Governor has postponed the Primary Run-off Election, many candidates who are on that ballot, myself included, will continue to reach out to voters. However, our outreach efforts shift to methods that do not contribute to the spread of the Coronavirus, such as text messages, emails and phone calls. We will continue this important work because voter should have the information they need to make informed decisions on Election Day.

For those that are 65 or over, you can submit a vote-by-mail application today to vote in the primary runoff election from the safety of your own home. Just go online and download an application from the Bexar County Elections Office, or you can call the election’s office at 210-335-0362 and request an application be mailed to you. You simply fill it out, making sure to select which party primary you want to vote in, and mail it back. Your ballot will arrive at your home.

We are a resilient community, and I know that together we can make it through this crisis."

Bexar County Republican Party Chairwoman, Cynthia Brehm:

“The Republican Party of Bexar County has not slowed down. Our candidates are doing what is necessary within their respective campaigns while respecting the extenuating circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 restrictions. In addition to that, we are actively working in meet our community’s needs during this time of seclusion.”

COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the new virus, stands for coronavirus disease 2019. The disease first appeared in late 2019 in Wuhan, China, but spread around the world in early 2020, causing the World Health Organization to declare a pandemic in March.

MORE CORONAVIRUS COVERAGE FROM KSAT:


About the Authors: