Bexar County works to prevent crash similar to Iowa caucuses

New voting system worked ‘as expected’ last November

Local elections officials don't want repeat of Iowa Caucuses during March Primary
Local elections officials don't want repeat of Iowa Caucuses during March Primary

SAN ANTONIO – Among those watching the chaos in Iowa apparently caused by a new app to report the results was Jacque Callanen, the Bexar County elections administrator.

“There by the grace of God, go us,” said Callanen, given that Bexar County initiated its new voting system and voting machines during the constitutional amendment election last November.

Other than some reporting delays, she said the new system worked as expected. Even so, with Super Tuesday coming up March 3, Callanen said her staff continues to make sure the system is working correctly.

She said, for instance, the staff members voted for every Republican and Democratic candidate in 126 races in each of Bexar County’s 726 precincts before making sure the paper ballot matched the selections that were made. It took two weeks, she said.

“It was tedious but necessary,” Callanen said. “That’s the level we go, and that’s the confidence I have in my staff and the system.”

“We have so many checks and balances that I’m quite comfortable. I really am,” Callanen said.

She said the county has a lot of backup systems in place.

Callanen said since the electronic voting system is connected to a power source, not the internet, her office has generators at the ready if there’s a power failure.

She said election workers are also being trained and re-trained on what to do, just in case.

As for what happened in Iowa, Callanen said, “Our hearts go out to them. They really do. And now we just thank God it wasn’t us.”

Early voting begins Feb. 18.

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.