SAN ANTONIO (KTSA News) – Bexar County voters will be trying out a brand new electronic voting system Monday as they cast early ballots in the Texas Constitutional Amendment election. Several suburban elections also are on the November 5 ballot.
Bexar County spent $2.5 million on 2,500 new electronic voting machines to replace the 17-year-old system.
“It’s the difference between a flip phone and an iPhone,” said Bexar County Elections Administrator Jacque Callanen.”They can enlarge the text. They can switch toggle back and forth between languages.”
All of the new voting machines are ADA compatible, and there’s a paper trail. When you finish voting, the machine will print out a paper ballot, which you will place into a ballot box.
“People were demanding a paper trail so that you could audit the election afterwards. This system does that for us,” said Callanen. “This new system is an answer to a lot of the conspiracy theorists talking about voter fraud.”
Callanen wants voters to know it’s a paper trail, not a paper receipt, so election judges will have to make sure voters don’t walk out with the paper ballots.
“We keep the ballots. They stay in a secured ballot box,” said Callanen.
If there’s a demand for a recount or an audit, the paper ballots will be used.
Thirty six polls will be open for early voting October 21 through November 1. Hours are 8 a.m. to 6 pm October 21-25; 10 a.m. to 6 pm Oct. 26; Noon to 6 pm October 27; 8 a.m. to 6 pm Oct. 28-30; 8 a.m. to 8 pm October 31-Nov. 1.
Election day hours November 5 will be 7 a.m. to 7 pm. For the first time, Bexar County voters will not have to vote at their home precincts on election day. They will be able to cast ballots at any of the Voting Centers across Bexar County.
In addition to 10 proposed amendments to the Texas Constitution, the cities of Castle Hills, Converse, Sandy Oaks, Schertz and Windcrest will hold elections. Hill Country Village and the Somerset School District will have a bond election, and the San Antonio River Authority, Green Valley Utility District and Bexar County Emergency Services also are on the ballot.