Tight race, tight timeline for Dist. 118 State Rep

Fewer early voting sites now, more for Tuesday’s runoff

SAN ANTONIO – Instead of five early voting sites, the runoff for District 118 State Representative has only three within its boundaries, as well as one at the Bexar County Elections Office outside the district.

“We had four of those sites up and ready to go,” said Jacque Callanen, Bexar County Elections Administrator.

Come next Tuesday, during the runoff, Callanen said District 118 will have 24 voting centers.

Democrat Frank Ramirez and Republican John Lujan are in a tight runoff to represent south Bexar County as well as northeast portions of the county after the primary September 28.

Callanen said the Bexar County Elections Department learned exactly one week ago Governor Greg Abbott had called a special runoff election that would coincide with next week’s November 2nd election, deciding several constitutional amendments and other races.

Callenen said everything was all set for next Tuesday’s election when she got the word.

“We basically had three days to get ready,” Callanen said, giving her staff high praise for getting it done.

Lujan, his Republican opponent, did not respond to requests for an interview but, Ramirez said having dual elections was confusing for voters.

He said many were unaware they couldn’t vote in the District 118 race other than those four locations, and were having to drive elsewhere to cast their ballots in his race.

“We’re empathizing with our constituents saying we feel you 100%. We understand that this is not the ideal way to run a democracy,” Ramirez said.

Ramirez said he also was concerned about voters receiving ballots in different colored envelopes for the constitutional amendments and the District 118 race.

However, Callanen said both parties were aware.

“We showed them what we were going to put in the envelopes,” Callanen said. “So I think everybody was on board.”

Ramirez said he believed the confusion he’s seeing was caused intentionally by state leaders as a form of voter suppression.

However, Callanen said, early voter turnout in the District 118 race as of Tuesday was over 3,200, compared to more than 2,800 last month.

She said the last two days of early voting are always the busiest, so she expects to see an even higher count by election day.

Callanen said both sides deserve the credit for getting the vote out.

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.

Before starting at KSAT in August 2011, Ken was a news photographer at KENS. Before that he was a news photographer at KVDA TV in San Antonio. Ken graduated from San Antonio College with an associate's degree in Radio, TV and Film. Ken has won a Sun Coast Emmy and four Lone Star Emmys. Ken has been in the TV industry since 1994.