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First Day Of Early Voting Creates Long Lines Of Dedicated Voters

Joey Palacios
Texas Public Radio
This is a small portion of voters at Wonderland Mall on Monday Afternoon. The line reached as many as 250 people where voters waited two hours or more to cast a ballot

Thousands of residents in Bexar County are showing up at the polls on the first day of early voting.  Voters outside  the Lion’s Field on Broadway and Wonderland mall polling sites talk about why they decided to cast a ballot early.

The line at Lion’s Field looked almost like Election Day. It rarely got below 60 people as voters snaked around the building. Voter Rosalie Decorte says the wait was worth it. “I thought that I wouldn’t be in a line but I was in an hour line this morning which is great because I was very excited to vote more so in this than any election ever,” she said.

Bexar County has more than one million registered voters for the first time. It’s a 13 percent increase over 2012. Those with tight schedules like Larry Hicks, decided to vote at another location before having to get to work. He says it’s everyone’s responsibility to cast a ballot regardless of wait time. “Man, it’s why our country was founded. People died for this you’ve got to get out the vote,” he said.

Some locations like San Antonio College’s Eco Centro building had no lines. Wonderland Mall, a popular voting site, had a line of 250 people; with some waiting two or more hours to vote. A wait that was too much for voter Fernando Guevara-Juarez.

“I cannot stay here for three hours. I’ve got some other appointments, maybe some other time.”

He says he’ll try again later in the week. Officials are expecting high voter turn-out and are encouraging people to vote early to avoid longer lines on Election Day.  Both the 2008 and 2012 elections saw 56 percent turnout of registered voters in Bexar County.

Credit Courtesy: Joaquin Hernandez
Voters at South Park Mall waited about an hour.

Credit Courtesy: Dawn Thurmond
Cody Library on the Northwest Side

Credit Courtesy: Mark Carrillo
Maverick Library

Credit Courtesy: Bret Rozelle
The Julia Yates Semmes Library off Judson Road near Comanche Park