© 2024 Texas Public Radio
Real. Reliable. Texas Public Radio.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

County Considering Early Voting Sites On College Campuses

Eileen Pace
TPR News
LULAC members take their case for college campus voting sites to Bexar County Commissioners Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2014.

Bexar County is exploring the feasibility of placing early voting sites on several Alamo Colleges campuses. Officials say it’s an idea that has been tried sporadically at different colleges around town, and now the local League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) wants to make the idea permanent.

The group is asking the county to look at a new way to get more young people involved in voting. LULAC spokesman Roman Peña said the group asked for its student voter project to be implemented for early voting at all of the Alamo Colleges campuses.

"It will be placing voting machines during the primary -- we hope to do it in the primary -- to test the photo ID law concerning the students," Peña said. 

Elections Administator Jackie Callanen told commissioners she told LULAC representatives the county would not be able do all ten of the Alamo colleges at one time. She said she hopes to ramp up at a slower pace and start with the November election.

"We have to get signed contracts. We have to get insurance. We have to drop hard lines that we have to give AT&T six weeks' notice on. We have to get staff. We have to train staff. And the list goes on," Callanen said. 

Still to be worked out are dedicated parking spaces for other voters, as well as signage. Each early voting location must be accessible to all voters, not just the college students, and each must be ADA compliant.

Callanen said voting locations have been tried with minimal success at a handful of local colleges, including San Antonio College, St. Phillips College, and UTSA. 

Peña said the LULAC group had received favorable indications from Alamo Colleges.

"The possibility of on-campus early voting is being evaluated both by the Alamo Colleges and the county, but at the end of the day, it is up to the county," Peña said.

Eileen Pace is a veteran radio and print journalist with a long history of investigative and feature reporting in San Antonio and Houston, earning more than 50 awards for investigative reporting, documentaries, long-form series, features, sports stories, outstanding anchoring and best use of sound.