Mail-in votes have already surpassed 2016 numbers in Bexar County

Bexar County Elections Department has received 45,000 ballots in the mail

Harris County election worker Romanique Tillman prepares mail-in ballots to be sent out to voters Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020, in Houston. Texas is one of just a handful of states that declined to expand absentee voting this year because of the the coronavirus pandemic. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip) (David J. Phillip, Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

SAN ANTONIO – While Tuesday’s early voting numbers were high, they didn’t set any records. However, the number of mail-in ballots received so far in Bexar County is impressive.

With 20 days left until election day, mail-in ballots have already exceeded the absentee vote totals in recent elections, according to the elections department.

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On Tuesday, the first day of early voting in Texas, 33,111 residents waited in lines across Bexar county to vote. That number is slightly less than 2018, when 34,020 ballots were cast, and 2016, when 35,431 ballots were cast on the first day of early voting.

But the number of mail-in votes received so far in Bexar County has already eclipsed the total numbers for the previous two elections.

Election yearAbsentee Ballots

The number of mail-in ballots received in 2020 — 45,000 as of Wednesday — accounts for nearly half of the 99,000 ballots the election department has mailed out to voters.

The department, which continues to send roughly 6,500 ballots a day, will continue processing and sending absentee ballots until Oct. 23.

The boost in mail-in votes is primarily due to the coronavirus pandemic. In September, the elections department proactively sent registered voters 65 and older a mail ballot application, giving them the chance to avoid the polls, where record turnout is expected.

In a Bexar Facts-KSAT-San Antonio Report poll, 17% of likely voters said they planned to vote by mail, representing a significant increase. In 2016, only 6.4% of votes were cast by mail in Bexar County, according to the elections department.

A record number of Bexar County residents — 1,181,000 — are registered to vote for this presidential election.

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