Early voting for the November 5 election runs from Monday, October 21 until Friday, November 1 and Bexar County residents will be able to use new voting machines for the first time.
Each unit is compatible with the Americans with Disabilities Act and allows users to choose English or Spanish to vote. Just like the previous machines, voters will see each race on an electronic screen. But now, voters’ selections will be printed on a paper slip and scanned into an electronic tabulator, which counts the ballots. The ballots are stored in a secure box and then transported to the Elections Department’s locked storage facility when the boxes are full.
The new system comes in response to consistent demand in years past for a paper trail so you could audit the election results afterward. The Bexar County Elections Department has 2,500 touch screen machines and 328 tabulators, all of which are not connected to the internet.
While the new machines are in place, election administrators are still anticipating a low turnout as amendment elections historically draw little interest. Out of the 1.1 million people registered to vote in Bexar County, about 50,000 are estimated to cast a ballot. This number would reflect an increase from the previous constitutional amendment election in 2017 when roughly 38,000 people cast a ballot.
Voters will be able to cast ballots on 10 state constitutional amendments and elections for 11 entities, including the San Antonio River Authority. Hill Country Village, the City of Sandy Oaks, and Somerset Independent School District are also holding bond elections. Find the generic sample ballot for Bexar County here.
Texans will vote on 10 state constitutional amendments in the election, ranging from prohibiting an individual income tax, to allowing law enforcement animals to be given to a qualified caretaker.
Some of the amendments create new funding tools for different entities. Proposition 5 would allow state parks to use the sales tax on sporting goods as a funding mechanism, while Proposition 2 would allow the Texas Water Development Board to issue bonds to finance water infrastructure projects in “economically distressed areas.”
A majority vote is required to pass an amendment, and in 2017, all seven constitutional amendments passed.
Castle Hills City Council has two seats on the ballot in a special election triggered by one removal and one resignation, while Converse, Sandy Oaks, Schertz, and Windcrest also have City Council seats on the ballot.
When can I vote?
Early voting starts Monday, Oct. 21 and ends Friday, Nov. 1. Polls are open:
- 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday, Oct. 21 through Friday, Oct. 25;
- 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 26;
- Noon to 6 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 27;
- 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. from Monday, Oct. 28 through Wednesday, Oct. 30;
- 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 31 and Friday, Nov. 1.
Find early voting locations and hours here.
Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 5. It will be Bexar County’s first election with the vote center model, which means Bexar County residents can cast a ballot at any polling location in the county.