Official predicts final tally could be higher than actual Primary
Whether it's an increased sense of democratic responsibility or the high profile fight for a US Senate seat, more Bexar County residents have been out to vote this week. "We've been pleasantly surprised by the traffic," says Bexar County Elections Administrator Jackie Callanen.
Early voting in the Primary runoff began Monday and concludes Friday at 8pm. Callanen says they looked back to past runoffs to get an idea of how many people might be out to vote before this Tuesday's official Runoff election day. "We weren't sure what we were going to see because no one could remember an election being held in the dog days of summer," she says.
Despite redistricting and Texas Primary delays, she says the 29 early voting sites around Bexar County have actually been buzzing. By the time they close Friday evening, she expects as many as 30,000 early voters. "This is almost double, or probably will end up triple, what we've seen in the 2010 primary runoff," she says.
Those numbers don't even include the people who plan to vote Tuesday, July 31st. Past experience suggests about as many come out then as those who voted early. If that's the case next week, the final Bexar County voter turnout could eclipse the 55,000 or so who voted during the primary itself back on May 29. "That's what we're looking at," says Callanen, "and pleasantly surprised."
The question still remains about why so many voters are choosing to come out now. Callanen can't say for sure, but suspects the fight between former Solicitor General Ted Cruz and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst for Republican US Senate nomination could have something to do with it. "There's been... shall we say some robust campaigning," she says. "So maybe that's driving it."