Bexar County Republicans narrow early vote margin in 2022 primary, data shows

More than 1 in 5 early voters cast a ballot on the final day of early voting; turnout at just over 8%

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Bexar County Republicans showed more enthusiasm during early voting this year, narrowing the deficit between the two parties, according to data from the county’s election department.

After two weeks of early voting, 47,169 Bexar County Republicans cast a ballot in the primary, while 50,484 Democrats also voted during the early period.

That margin is much more narrow than the last midterm in 2018 — when 41,184 Republican primary ballots and 51,917 Democratic primary ballots were cast.

The numbers could indicate growing momentum for Republicans this year, who have rallied against President Joe Biden’s policies over the last two years. It could also be the result of contentious statewide primary races in the GOP, including the governor’s office and the attorney general’s office.

Democrats were also more energized in 2018 in response to the 2016 election of President Donald J. Trump, leading to a more competitive primary.

Overall, however, the voter turnout rate in 2022 was slightly lower than in 2018.

In 2022, a total of 97,653 ballots were cast during early voting — amounting to 8.18% of the county’s 1,194,389 registered voters.

In 2018, 93,101 ballots were cast — 8.6% of Bexar County’s 1,085,664 registered voters.

The numbers do not include absentee ballots. Officials with the election department did not respond to requests seeking comment on Monday.

Turnout may have been dampened by last week’s winter weather, which brought temperatures near freezing in Bexar County.

Voters were most likely to head to the polls on Friday, the final day of early voting, the numbers showed. That day accounted for more than 20% of the early vote total, meaning roughly 1 in 5 voters cast their ballot on Friday.

Full primary turnout will be determined after Election Day, slated for Tuesday.

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