Here’s what you need to know about Election Day
After a record turnout during early voting, Bexar County residents who haven’t cast ballots get another chance Tuesday.
More than 380,000 voters here voted early in the 2018 midterm elections, a record number for a midterm election, officials said. That’s a turnout rate of about 34.6 percent, already higher than the 2014 and 2010 elections.
Elections Administrator Jacque Callanen said she expects the voter enthusiasm to continue Election Day.
Here’s everything you need to know.
Who’s on the ballot?
Voters will decide the outcome of major races in Bexar County this year, including contests for U.S. senator, congressman, governor, lieutenant governor and a litany of local offices.
The race between Sen. Ted Cruz and Rep. Beto O’Rourke has drawn the most interest statewide. Gov. Greg Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick are also facing challenges from Democrats Lupe Valdez and Mike Collier, respectively.
Republican Congressman Will Hurd is hoping to stave off a challenge from Democrat Gina Ortiz Jones in one of Texas’ only swing districts, which includes much of Bexar County.
Eight of the county’s 10 seats in the Texas House of Representatives are also up for grabs, along with one of its spots in the Texas Senate.
San Antonians will also decide on a controversial set of charter amendments pushed by the firefighters union, which have been bitterly opposed by a cross-section of community leaders.
The proposed amendments would make it easier to use referendums to challenge council decisions; cap the salary of future city managers and impose a term limit; and give the firefighters’ union unilateral power to decide when contract negotiations would be taken to binding arbitration.
Can I vote? Where?
Using the county’s website, voters can check their registration status, look up their polling sites and view their respective voting precinct’s sample ballot here.
Unlike early voting, residents can only cast ballots at the voter’s designated polling place on Election Day. A full list of sites is here.
The registration deadline has passed, so only those who registered before the deadline can vote in these elections.
When can I vote?
The sites will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Voters in line at 7 p.m. will be allowed to cast their ballots.
What do I need to vote?
Voters must have an acceptable photo ID, and elections officials also recommend bringing voter registration cards to help speed the process.
Acceptable IDs include a passport, a Texas driver’s license and a Texas Department of Public Safety-issued personal identification card. These IDs are acceptable even if they’re expired, so long as they’re not more than four years out of date. For voters who are 70 or older, the date limit doesn’t apply. To see a full description of the ID requirements, click here.
If a voter can’t reasonably obtain one of the approved photo IDs, there are several other ways to establish identification, including a current utility bill with the correct address, a bank statement or government check, among other documents. But these voters must sign a reasonable impediment declaration. For complete details, go to sos.state.tx.us
Special voting conditions
Each polling location also has curbside voting for people who have difficulty walking or standing for long periods of time. Those voters can call their designated polling site, and a poll worker will bring the ballot to the car.
How do I get there?
VIA Metropolitan Transit will provide fare-free transport to the polls Tuesday. Anyone who shows their valid voter registration card to the bus or van operator will ride free from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Dylan McGuinness covers local politics and the Bexar County government for the Express-News. Read him on our free site, mySA.com, and on our subscriber site, ExpressNews.com. | email@example.com | Twitter: @DylMcGuinness