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S.A. election updates: Abbott to put troops in Texas cities in case of post-election unrest

S.A. election updates: Abbott to put troops in Texas cities in case of post-election unrest

by Staff, Mark Dunphy , Priscilla Aguirre , Madalyn Mendoza , Sig Christenson | San Antonio Express News  |  Published on October 27, 2020

October 26
Election Day security update: Maj. Gen. James K. “Red” Brown, chief of staff for the Texas National Guard commander, said the activation of troops would be for “post election” support of local law enforcement and the Texas Department of Public Safety, “as we did previously to deter any civil disturbance at sites in various cities within Texas.”

Guard troops ordered to S.A.: The Texas Army National Guard said Monday it had been ordered to dispatch 1,000 troops to five major cities around the state in conjunction with the Nov. 3 election, including San Antonio. The guard in recent weeks had told the San Antonio Express-News that its commander, Maj. Gen. Tracy Norris, had been asked to draft contingency plans in case of trouble at polling places in major cities around the state.

Early vote totals smash 2016: Early voting figures have surpassed the total for the 2016 election, with five “long days” still to go, the Bexar County election chief said Monday. “We officially broke the 2016 in-person numbers at 9:38 this morning,” Bexar County Elections Administrator Jacque Callanen said.

Bloomberg Donation: Former New York City Mayor and one-time presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg is spending $2.6 million to help a Democrat capture a seat on the state board overseeing the oil and gas industry. The billionaire contributed to help elect Chrysta Castañeda, a Dallas engineer and lawyer hoping to win a seat on the three-member Texas Railroad Commission that regulates oil and natural gas extraction, pipeline safety and surface coal and uranium mining.

Last week of early voting: The final week of early voting in Bexar County is likely to generate long lines and wait times, even with extended night hours and new digital tools to help people cast their ballots.

October 21
Young poll worker mobilization: A national campaign rallying younger people to work the polls says there’s a shortage of sign-ups in San Antonio. Power the Polls, which is working to staff polling locations to ensure smoother experiences, put the call out for a younger wave of election workers amid the pandemic.

Trump and Biden tied in Texas: President Donald Trump and Joe Biden are tied as early voting is underway in Texas, according to a new Quinnipiac University poll released on Wednesday, the latest to indicate the presidential race is on track to be the closest the state has seen in decades.

October 20
Most in-person Bexar early voters so far: Monday marked the highest single-day voter turnout in Bexar County so far during the early voting period. According to the Bexar County Elections Department, 41,289 people headed to the polls to cast their ballots Monday ahead of the Nov. 3 general election, beating the previous high of 41,024 last Friday.

October 19
Texas leads nation in early voting totals: Texas is leading the country in ballots cast in the 2020 presidential election so far, with more than 4 million votes counted as of Sunday.

October 17
Stark choice between sheriff candidates: Bexar County voters are choosing between an incumbent sheriff who had a tumultuous first term and a former longtime county clerk with no law enforcement experience, in the Nov. 3 race for one of the county’s oldest elected posts.

October 16
Crowdsourced poll wait-time tracker: Unlike other major Texas counties, Bexar County voters do not have access to a wait-time map, but locals have found a crowdsourced solution.

How to get an emergency mail-in ballot: The coronavirus pandemic has caused record numbers of people to request mail-in ballots. Some San Antonio voters are so determined to make their votes count they’re hand-delivering their mail-in ballots. But what happens if you contract COVID-19 after the Oct. 23 deadline to apply for a mail ballot?

Voters are hand-delivering their mail-in ballots: In an election season when unprecedented numbers of Bexar County voters have requested mail-in ballots, hundreds of them are making the trek downtown to the elections office every day to deliver their ballots in person.

October 15
Free rides to the polls: More than 50 volunteers in Bexar County signed up to give free rides to the polls during the early voting period and on Election Day, Nov. 3, through a rideshare program, Rideshare2Vote.

Sticker perks: You did your civic duty. Now you’re sporting an “I Voted” sticker. What perks can that get you in San Antonio?

October 14
What it’s like to vote at the AT&T Center: The AT&T Center is home to the Spurs, big name concerts and now early voting.

County comparisons to 2016: Local voters flooded social media with photos of long lines at Bexar County early voting sites on Tuesday, but less people showed up on the first day of early voting than they did for the general election in 2016 and the mid-term election in 2018, according to officials.

October 13
Long lines on day one: Early voting for the general election began Tuesday, and photos from the San Antonio Twitter community show long lines at the local polls.

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