Local coalition warns of voting problems
Missing mail-in ballots and incorrect voter registration forms are two of the problems that have emerged during early voting in Bexar County.
A record number of people æ about 256,531 æ cast their ballots during early voting, which ended October 29. Election Day is November 2. The polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Comprised of about a dozen groups, including the League United of Latin American Citizens, Neighborhoods First Alliance, and Citizens for Ethical Government, the Coalition plans to place volunteer field investigators and attorneys throughout the county on Election Day to document voting irregularities or voter intimidation.
"We want to make sure every vote is counted," said T.C. Calvert of Neighborhoods First Alliance. "And we want to make sure people can call local organizations they trust."
Ironically, attorney Luis Figueroa, one of 25 local lawyers who will be fielding voters' calls on Election Day, has encountered voting problems himself.
Figueroa said that in June he filled out a voter registration form at a local U.S. Post Office. However, the form was outdated, he said, and he received a notice from the Bexar County Elections Office stating that his registration was denied. Figueroa said he was given 10 days to re-register, which he did.
"I'm concerned that this happened to other people and they might have missed the deadline."
Figueroa said he didn't know how many old forms were distributed or how long they had been available.
The Bexar County Elections Office was closed on Saturday and could not be reached for comment.
Attorney José Garza's son attends school out-of-state and requested a mail-in ballot from Bexar County. Garza said he spoke with his son late last week and that he had yet to receive his ballot, although there are only three days until the election.
The Coalition recommends that voters make sure they're in the correct precinct to cast their ballot, that first-time voters bring identification such as a driver's license, utility bill, or passport. If an election judge doesn't allow you to vote, ask for a provisional ballot. Doublecheck your ballot and make sure you push the red button that says, "vote," in order for it to count. •
By Lisa Sorg