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Record 253,000 vote in Bexar County for primary election amid software issues

Bexar County Elections Administrator Jacque Callanen
Bexar County Elections Administrator Jacque Callanen (KSAT)

SAN ANTONIOUPDATE 3:00 a.m: The Bexar County Elections Office said the total vote for the March 3 primary election was 253,071, a new record for Bexar County.

Tuesday’s votes totaled 113,650. There were 139,421 early and absentee votes.

Texas March 2020 Primary Election Results

We are so pleased with the voter turnout for this election,” said Bexar County Elections Administrator Jacque Callanen, who continued, “We did have some software issues throughout the evening, which held up the posting of the cumulative numbers, which include the election day voting numbers; early voting numbers and absentee voting."

The Bexar County Elections Department will hold a press conference on Wednesday morning at 11 a.m. to discuss the election.

KSAT 12 will livestream the press conference.

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UPDATE 11:20 p.m.: Bexar County Elections Administrator Jacque Callanen said Election Day voting results will be delayed due to a software issue with the machines used during the election.

When asked about how soon final results would come in during a press conference around 11 p.m., Callanen said, “I wish I knew.”

Callanen said Elections Systems & Software representatives were at the elections office trying to remedy the issues, but there was no timeline given as to when that would be completed.

After early voting results were released nearly an hour later than the usual 7 p.m., elections officials notified media that Election Day results would be delayed around 10 p.m. Then the county’s election page briefly crashed, and when results were posted, they were in three separate tallies: early voting, absentee ballots and Election Day returns, which are still not complete.

She said candidates at their watch parties and media are currently trying to add up the voting totals by hand.

Texas March 2020 Primary Election Results

Callanen also said a slew of new, out-of-state voters weren’t aware of Texas voting laws, creating longer wait times at polling site. Callanen said voters who moved from other states weren’t aware that you can’t register on the same day that you are voting.

“We had people that were upset. And Texas law is different,” she said during a news conference.

The other issue she pointed to was that it was tougher for election judges to learn the new county election system.

“We spent so much time on the front end of it," Callanen said. "We spent two weeks testing.”

“We’ll get there. I keep getting these reassurances from the company, but we’re not getting there," she said. “We will be hitting it hot and heavy to find out what (happened) and hold people accountable.”

Callanen said at last check the University of Texas at San Antonio polling location was still online.

She said there will be a bigger push to avoid issues like this from happening in the May runoff election.

We’ll bring you updated results as soon as we can confirm them.

(Previously)

Primary Election Day results will be coming in later than expected for Bexar County due to several different factors, elections officials said Tuesday night.

“It’s been a day,” said Bexar County Elections Administrator Jacque Callanen during a news conference around 9 p.m..

Callanen said about 110,000 people voted at the polls on Tuesday. She told the media to expect a long night because of the number of voters in the county and the length of the ballot. By comparison, about 140,000 ballots were cast during early voting.

Callanen said polling sites need to print out two rolls of tape of the results, which takes about 45 minutes to an hour, and then take those tapes to six regional sites to have the results securely sent to the elections office.

Callanen said it may be until 10:30 or 11 p.m. for the voting results to be released.

Callanen said she’s excited to mine the data after elections are over to see where the county can improve. She said more information will be released on the equipment issues that were experienced on Tuesday.

“I’m not surprised. It’s just part of technology,” she said.

Callanen said voters liked the new machines more than the old ones because they could see their results printed on the paper.

When the elections workers had a long line at polling sites, they would point voters to locations with fewer people, according to Callanen. She said many people didn’t want to leave the line.

“The voters are telling us where they want to go,” she said.

As far as why the early voting results were delayed earlier in the night, Callanen said it was the right thing to do because she didn’t want to influence the vote of the people already in line.

“It just didn’t feel right to put all those results out there,” she said.

She said 19 sites were still online before the press conference started at 9 p.m.

Callanen said the poll workers had a lot to do and were very tired, so she wouldn’t be surprised if they stopped to take a break. She said the results would be worth the wait.

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