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Bexar County commissioners spar over how to better register voters and then engage them on issues

Voters at Lions Field on Tuesday, Nov. 8.
Jack Morgan
Lions Field polling place

Grant Moody — the county's only Republican commissioner — voted no on Tuesday on two separate voter measures, sparking debate among the entire commissioners court.

Moody, whose Precinct 3 incorporates much of far north and northwest Bexar County, voted against the establishment of a five member citizens advisory panel on how to improve voter engagement.

Commissioners and the county judge will each have their own appointee on the panel to advise them on voter issues.

Moody also voted no on spending nearly $600,000 to pay an outside firm, Civic Government Solutions, to register county voters.

Both measures passed the Democratic dominated court. But Moody questioned whether voter registration should be funded by the county.

"Trying to maximize turnout in a [Democratic] county months before the election ... the appearance does not look good," he said.

Precinct 2 County Commissioner Justin Rodriguez and Precinct 4 County Commissioner Tommy Calvert, both Democrats, countered Moody's argument with a focus on voter involvement.

"It's simply making it easier for folks who move into our county to get registered. Nothing to do with partisan politics," Rodriguez said.

"We're not being electoral," Calvert added "We're not telling anybody who to vote for. Just register. Go where your heart is. Go where your mind is. We're not trying to control anybody."

A couple of speakers, during the Citizens to be Heard portion of the commissioners' meeting, told the court that the registration of voters should be left to political parties.

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