SAN ANTONIO – With lingering questions about the postal service’s reliability after cost-cutting measures implemented ahead of the 2020 election, some voters who have applied for their mail ballot may want to cast a ballot in-person instead.
In Bexar County, at least 1,375 voters have already canceled their mail-in ballot to vote early, according to the Elections Office Facebook page.
One of those voters was Catherine Summerville, who cast her vote at the AT&T Center on Wednesday.
“I had initially asked for a ballot over 60 days ago, but then I changed my mind,” Summerville said. “I think it’s a safer option to vote in person.”
Voters who have already received their mail ballot are allowed to vote in person, but a process must be followed first.
Voters must bring that empty ballot with them and sign a cancellation form from the election clerk before being able to vote in-person.
If they don’t have the mail-in ballot yet, voters can tell the election judge at the polling site that they’ve applied for a mail-in ballot but would rather cast a ballot in person. The judge then calls the Elections Office to cancel the mail-in ballot.
There are safeguards in place to keep people from casting an in-person vote and a mail ballot.
Steve Heinrich, an elections office mail clerk, said, “Every voter has a voter registration number. A record for that voter. We only accept one ballot for each voter.”
Heinrich said after an election judge contacts them, “We cancel the mail ballot and then clear that, and then they’re able to vote in person at the poll site. If a ballot shows up tomorrow in the mail, it’s already canceled. We don’t accept it. We don’t let people vote twice.”