There were 21,511 fewer early votes cast this cycle in Bexar County than during the 2018 midterms.
The number of early ballots cast in Bexar County during the current election cycle is down from those cast in the 2018 midterms and also the 2020 general election, according to county officials.
Only 358,188 Bexar County residents cast ballots in person from Oct. 24-Nov. 4, the Bexar County Elections Department reports. That's 21,511 fewer than during the 2018 midterms and far below the 596,961 cast during the 2020 presidential election.
That reduced turnout comes as President Joe Biden and civil rights advocates warn that the midterms could determine the fate of U.S. democracy due to a surge in election-denying candidates. Biden emphasized the importance of Tuesday’s election during a speech last week.
“There are candidates running for every level of office in America — for governor, for congress, for attorney general, for secretary of state who won’t commit to accepting the results of the elections they’re in,” Biden said. “That is the path to chaos in America. It’s unprecedented. It’s unlawful. And it is un-American.”
Although mail-in ballots haven't yet been counted, restrictions enacted by the Republican-controlled Texas Legislature could lead to a decline in those votes as well. During Texas’ March primaries, vote-by-mail ballots sent in by people of color were 50% more likely to be rejected than white voters under the new restrictions, according to a recent study.
Bexar County’s voting centers will open at 7 a.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 8, and close at 7 p.m.