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Frequently Asked Questions

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Who decides election dates?
The governing body of a "political subdivision" will select election dates.

Does Bexar County have Uniform Voting Dates?
The State of Texas has uniform election dates in the months of February, May, September and November. In addition, there may be runoff elections for those dates and other elections when necessary to fill an unexpired term of an elected official - which may also have a runoff. A political subdivision may justify an election as provided for in Chapter 41 of the Texas Election Code.

Who decides election sites / polling locations?
Generally, when there is just one election, the political subdivision will decide where it wants the polling sites to be. In Bexar County, the County Elections Administrator usually selects the sites for a given election. This is because other entities contract with the County for their elections and ask the County to do so in order to use essentially the same sites as the County does for their elections. Entities holding elections, however, often indicate where they want the polling places to be. This is often true with elections for school boards or school bonds. This process becomes more complicated when there are combinations of elections, or joint elections on the same date. Entities should use the same election sites as the previous "like" election, i.e. the last school bond issue or the last Presidential Primary. But, it is not always possible to do that because of population growth, precinct splits, construction on a former polling site, political party requests, or neighborhood association preferences, and other reasons. For example, in 1999, some voters in Bexar County had an opportunity to vote in six elections, each election called by a different political subdivision. Since each subdivision can determine its own sites, you can see how easily it is to change sites requiring voters to vote in different places. Over the last couple of years, the County, City and several of the large political subdivisions have been able to stabilize election polling locations. We are currently working with the other groups to reach more agreement on voting sites.

Do I really need my Voter Registration Card to vote?
Bringing the card will help both you and others in line by speeding the process. If you do not have your card, you will be asked for a driver license or other form of positive identification. Please bring the card with you.

During a Primary Election, what if I don't want to tell the election judges whether I want to vote Republican or Democrat? What if I want to vote for a Reform or Independent Candidate?
There are no Reform or Independent Candidates in Primary elections in Texas. They will appear on the General Election ballot in the November election. In Texas, a voter must vote in the Primary for candidates on either the Republican or Democratic ballot. However, the voter may not vote for both Republicans and Democrats during the Primary. If the voter does not tell the judge whether they wish to vote Democratic or Republican, then the judge will be unable to provide a ballot for the voter.

Why does the Republican ballot have a proposition and not the Democratic ballot, or vice versa?
The Primary elections are a political party event and the party may choose to put a proposition on their Party's ballot or not.

Why is it we hold a Joint Primary election?
Section 172.126 of the Texas Election Code allows the Elections Administrator, Chairs of the Republican and Democratic Parties to agree on this option, including a majority vote of Commissioners Court. While this is not a requirement it allows the voter to go to a single location to select their preference.

I am in the military and want to vote but do not currently live in San Antonio. How can I vote?
Each person in the military should obtain an FPCA (Federal Post Card Application) Card from their unit of assignment or from the Federal Voting Assistance Program website. The card is to be mailed to:

Early Voting Clerk
1103 S. Frio, Ste. 100
San Antonio, TX 78207
Please be sure to complete the sections asking for Party Preference, the last address in Bexar County, and sign the application. Without this information, we cannot process the ballot request. When we receive your ballot application, you will receive a full ballot for the precinct corresponding to the precinct in which your address is located. If your ballot application was postmarked and received 30 days before an election, you will receive a full ballot. If your ballot application was received after these dates, you will receive a "limited ballot" which allows you to vote for the Presidential, US Senate and US Representative elections only. The FPCA card is now valid for two federal election cycles. The FPCA card cannot be used to register to vote in local elections. If you live in Bexar County, you must register in the same manner as all other county residents. For further information, you are invited to refer to the Texas Secretary of State's Office.

How can I vote by mail? I am not in the military.
You must be 65 or older on the day of the election, have a disability, or be planning to be out of the county during the election (we will have to send the ballot to an out of county address in this last case). You may request an application for a ballot by mail by calling the Elections Office at 335-0362 or by mailing a request to:
Jacque Callanen
Bexar County Elections Administrator
1103 S. Frio, Ste 100
San Antonio, TX 78207.
We will mail you an application for the ballot. Please read all the instructions, be sure to indicate what election you want to vote in, and be sure to sign the card. We will verify the information when the application is returned, and mail the ballot to you when they are available.

Why do I keep getting applications to vote by mail when I don't ask for them?
The Bexar County Elections Department does not mail unrequested applications to voters. Many times, candidates or political action groups will work with a consultant and mail applications to voters with a record of voting in particular elections or for a particular party. The forms you might receive look very much like official forms, but if they are pre-printed, you can be assured they came from an organization or person not in the Elections Office. Also, the County does not pay for either the application card you would receive in this case nor the mailing. It is an expense by the organization or candidates themselves. The Texas Election Code does not limit the Elections Office to official forms they send out. If the form we receive has the necessary information , we will process the application form.

Why didn't I get my application for a ballot this year?
The Bexar County Elections Office does not send applications for a ballot by mail to voters. If you have received an application in the past, and on a regular basis, then you are likely on a mailing list by some organization, candidate, or consultant who has consistently paid to mail you an application. If you did not receive the application you were expecting, then none of those groups or people mailed it to you this time.

Do I have to apply for a new ballot by mail for every election?
Yes, you do. On the application for a ballot by mail which is sent by the Bexar County Elections Department, a form provided by the Texas Secretary of State Elections Division, there is a box to check which tells us that you want ballots for the mail election as well as the runoff. You must check this box to receive a ballot for the runoff if there is one. The FPCA card allows military voters to request a ballot (if they are outside the county) for all elections at the same time.

Can I get on a permanent mailing list so I do not have to apply each time?
No, there is no such list in Texas.


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