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Election Day in San Antonio: Lighter Than Expected Turnout After Busy Early Voting

Voters at the Alzafar Shrine Temple in San Antonio around 9 a.m. on Election Day 2020.
Kathleen Creedon | Texas Public Radio
Voters at the Alzafar Shrine Temple in San Antonio around 9 a.m. on Election Day 2020.

The 2020 General Election on Nov. 3 decided many local, statewide and national races.

By 10 p.m., Bexar County reported that in-person voting was lighter than expected.

Bexar County Elections Administrator Jacque Callanen reported about 83,000 were cast, with less than a third of the 302 locations still unreported.

Callanen said those 90 or so locations will report their votes at six regional reporting centers around the county intended to speed up the reporting process.

Mail-in ballots that were postmarked Tuesday and arrive Wednesday will be counted, but not after Tuesday with the exception of military ballots. Military ballots have six days after election to arrive and be counted. So total votes become official on Nov. 9.

Callanen said she was very proud of voter turnout.

On the South Side, a "Trump Train" drove from polling site to polling site throughout the day.

Supporters like Roger Salinas said the large military-style truck was intended to get attention, not to intimidate.

"A lot of the stuff that has been put out there, you know, makes us look bad," Salinas said. "It's not like that... we're not here to intimidate anybody. We're not harassing anyone."

Businesses along Commerce Street, Houston Street and Alamo Plaza boarded up windows in anticipation of possible street unrest, but the city was quiet on Tuesday night.

Francisco Mar owns Mar Imports on Houston Street. A few hours before the polls closed on Tuesday, Mar was outside with a business associate looking at plywood that now covered the windows of his store.

He said when protests turned violent in May, his windows were broken and merchandise was damaged.

“At that time my store was totally destroyed,” Mar said.

He explained that he placed the boards as a precaution.

“The damage would be devastating because of all the problems with the windows and also inside I have some showcases,” Mar said. “They destroyed a lot of showcases [back in May].”

Mar said it cost about $1,000 to put up the plywood around his building, but when damage occurred back in May, repair costs were more than $6,000.

Callanen held multiple press conferences throughout the day.

"We had this wonderful, energized election, but when we get right down to it Bexar County likes to vote early," she said late Tuesday afternoon.

You can find more #TXDecides reporting here.

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Jack Morgan can be reached at jack@tpr.org and on Twitter at @JackMorganii
Joey Palacios can be reached atJoey@TPR.org and on Twitter at @Joeycules