Turnout Remains Strong as Week Two of Early Voting Begins

Week two of early voting begins today, with strong voter turnout continuing across Bexar County, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.

The pretty Sunday weather resulted in just under 15,000 voters casting ballots in the county yesterday, one of the busiest days since early voting began a week ago today.

Through Saturday, 39,417 voters had cast ballots.  That is fewer than the number that had voted after the first six days of early voting in 2016, but more than three times the  13,000 who had voted at this point in the 2014 mid-terms.

Voting judges say the long lines at the polls are not entirely due to big crowds, but that is a large part of it.

One hang up for San Antonio voters is the three clumsily-worded charter amendments being pushed by the firefighters union.  Elections Administrator Jackie Callanan says voters are taking longer in the booths because they have to read and digest the three amendments, which call for making it easier for citizens to vote on decisions of City Council, limit the pay and tenure of future city managers, and push fo binding arbitration for the firefighters union in contract debates.  She says in some cases, voters have asked to have their vote 'cancelled,' which is allowed, so they can study these issues further and then return and cast their vote later.

Another time-consuming issue faces voters on rural Bexar County northwest and southwest of the city.  They are voting on annexation, but rather than a simply question of 'do you want to be annexed,' yes or no...voters are facing two 'Options.'  One would allow annexation, and the other would allow the city to regulate land uses in their neighborhood with the goal of protecting military bases.

And no, despite what you have seen on social media, voting machines are not changing your straight ticket Republican vote to Democrat and vice versa.

A spokesman for the Secretary of State's office says there have been some twenty cases of this being reported, but its not being done by the voting machines, despite the conspiracy theories that are circulating.

He says a new type of electronic machine, which is not being used in Bexar County, will not record votes of the equipment is still being used by the voters.

The company that makes the machines, Hart e-Slate, said in a statement, "it simply records the voters inputs.  It cannot and dos not, 'flip' or 'switch' votes."

Early voting ends on Friday.  Election Day is a week from tomorrow.

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