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'The numbers are down,' Bexar County elections staff says about early voting turnout

Elections Administrator Jacque Callanen emphasized that the last two days of early voting tend to be the busiest.

BEXAR COUNTY, Texas — The turnout of early voters in Bexar County so far is down by about 13% from the last midterm election, a development that has surprised local officials given that voter registration is up in 2022. 

In an updated provided Wednesday morning as the early-voting window nears its end, Elections Administrator Jacque Callanen said those numbers have lowered her expectations for total turnout this year. She said she expects between 500,00 and 550,000, down from about 650,000 heading into early voting. 

“I hope I’m wrong,” she added. 

The forecast would mark concrete improvement over 2018, when just over 420,000 voters made it to the polls early, though the comparison doesn't immediately take into account the San Antonio area's growth over the last four years. 

RELATED: Voter Guide 2022 | Everything you need to know about the general election in San Antonio and Texas

RELATED: Election 2022: What are the dates and times for early voting in Bexar County?

Callanen also conceded that the last two days of early voting are "notoriously" the busiest. 

"That's when everybody decides to make their choices, on those last two days," she said. "Hoping we'll see a whole lot of numbers go up.”

She did, however, provide good news on the mail-in ballot front. After a historic amount of absentee voters saw their ballots rejected in the March primaries, Callanen said that rate is far lower so far for the general election. 

At the same time, Bexar County residents are still trying to apply for a mail-in ballot, despite the deadline passing. 

"We have had a lot of disappointed voters because they continue to send in our mail in ballot applications."

Early voting wraps up Friday, with the polls open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. each day this week. Of the 51 sites around town, Callanen said Encino Branch Library on East Evans Road is by far the busiest, followed by Brook Hollow Library on Heimer Road and Semmes Library along Judson Road.

"Do your homework and prepare your forms so that you don't feel rushed throughout the day," she said.

>We have a full rundown of the steps needed to register to vote here.

>Check to see whether you're already a Texas voter.

>Get more answers from the state's website.

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