SAN ANTONIO – A record number of voters are registered to vote ahead of the March primary, according to the Bexar County Elections Department.
Preliminary figures released by the department on Monday indicate that 1,128,625 voters are registered in the county.
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In 2018, 1,073,655 voters were registered ahead of the primary. In 2016, that figure only reached 976,842, according to the department.
This year’s tally is still preliminary, meaning that the total number of registered voters will likely be higher as election officials continue to receive voter registration forms.
Applications must be received or postmarked by Feb. 3.
Voters who didn’t register to vote in the March 3 primary can still register to vote in the November 3 general election. The deadline is October 5, according to the Texas Secretary of State.
Jacque Callanen, Bexar County Elections Administrator, said the record number of new registered voters was likely fueled by the nation’s current political atmosphere in a presidential election year, coupled with Bexar County’s growing population.
While officials are optimistic that the record-breaking number will translate into record-breaking voter turnout, it has not always been the case, records show.
Although more than 1 million voters registered ahead of the 2018 primary election, only 14.57% of eligible voters cast a ballot in the election, according to election data.
Of the 156,456 ballots cast in that election, 86,761 people voted in the Democratic primary, while 69,695 voted in the Republican primary.
In 2016, turnout was significantly better, as 25.47% of eligible voters turned out for the primaries. That year, Republican turnout — 132,921 votes — trumped Democratic turnout — 115,856 votes.
Another big year is expected with the presidential election looming in November.
Early voting for the March primary starts on Feb. 18. Election Day is March 3.
Check if you’re registered to vote online.