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Bexar County election workers will begin scanning mail-in ballots this weekend

FILE - In this Friday, Oct. 23, 2020, file photo, mail-in ballots for the 2020 General Election in the United States are seen after being sorted at the Chester County Voter Services office, in West Chester, Pa. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum, File)
FILE - In this Friday, Oct. 23, 2020, file photo, mail-in ballots for the 2020 General Election in the United States are seen after being sorted at the Chester County Voter Services office, in West Chester, Pa. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum, File) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

SAN ANTONIO – Before Election Day kicks off, Bexar County will have a head start tallying the results.

To keep up with the increase of mail-in ballots, Bexar County election workers will begin scanning them on Saturday morning, Elections Department Administrator Jacque Callanen said Friday.

According to the Texas Secretary of State’s Office, counties with a population of 100,000 or more can begin scanning and tabulating the mail-in ballots after the polls close on the last day of in-person early voting. Smaller counties cannot begin until the polls open on Election Day.

Callanen said the way Bexar County’s system is set up, the program will not reveal the results of the absentee ballots until the polls close on Election Day.

“If everything goes well, we can tabulate about 6,000 (ballots) an hour,” Callanen said.

The additional time will allow election officials to give a more complete vote count when the polls close on Election Day.

A record number of mail-in ballots have been utilized by voters this election season due to the coronavirus pandemic. Registered voters 65 and older in Bexar County were automatically sent an absentee ballot application by the elections department.

Voters can still drop off their mail-in ballots on Election Day at the Elections Department on South Frio Street. Ballots mailed in will continue being counted as long as they are postmarked by Election Day and received by the county’s election department on the following day.

As of Friday morning, more than 83,000 mail-in ballots had been received by the elections department, and more than 554,000 residents voted early in-person, surpassing the 2016 tally.

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