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Early voting site at San Antonio College reports growing turnout

Voting official: Initially, interest in voting seemed low

SAN ANTONIO – Word of lower than expected early vote turnout is motivating more students to cast their ballots before the Friday deadline.

San Antonio College has an early voting site on campus in its Victory Center for veterans and military personnel. Celinda Garza, the alternate election judge, said, “I have to say, initially, we were a little concerned" about the turnout.

Garza had voiced her concern about the apparent low interest by students in voting on the campus newspaper’s Facebook page. Then, it was echoed on social media and by many professors, who urged their students to vote.

As a result, over the last three or four days, “our turnout has doubled. I would like to see it tripled," Garza said.

Garza said she’s seen students coming in small groups, even taking photos and selfies to document they voted.

“I feel so privileged to able to vote,” said Clarise Clay-Benitez.

It was the first time Clay-Benitez had voted. She proudly wore the stickers proclaiming “I voted.”

Cortney Holmes, a nursing major, said she voted in the last presidential election, but this was her first primary.

Holmes said she tried to do her homework by watching debates and studying the candidates.

“It’s a little different than when we were like 18 in the last election,” Holmes said. “We are caring a little more now that we’re paying our own bills and working.”

A young woman who recently earned a master’s degree at the University of Texas at San Antonio, May Mzayek, cast her vote Thursday at the early voting site at SAC. Originally from Syria, Mzayek said for her, voting is truly a privilege.

“After years and years of finally getting naturalized, the first thing I wanted to do is vote,” she said.

But even before then, Mzayek said she was actively canvassing voters and knocking on doors for candidates. She said now she encourages students who vote to talk about their experience to younger family members “because it is a privilege.”

Early voting ends Friday. The Bexar County Elections Department is expected to release the results of early voting on Monday.

The March primary election is on Tuesday, March 3.

Early voting at SAC Victory Center

Posted by The Ranger on Tuesday, February 25, 2020

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