Finally time to cast ballots as early voting starts Monday

SAN ANTONIO — Twelve days of early voting for the Nov. 4 election start this morning, culminating months of training and preparation by Bexar County election officials and poll workers.

The state's embattled law requiring photo identification to vote will be in effect. Although the law has been held unconstitutional, it remains in effect this election while appeals continue.

Election workers will be prepared to guide the public through the voter ID confusion, said Elections Administrator Jacque Callanen.

“We spend a lot of time on that. We're training for the implementation of voter ID because that's what the law is today,” she said. “If the (U.S.) Supreme Court decides Monday morning that we're not under it, we'll put big color posters up and put away the voter ID stuff.”

A record number of early voting locations, 41, will operate from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. through Friday. Polls will be open Saturday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 6 p.m.

Next week, polls will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, Oct. 31.

New polling sites include the main campus of the University of Texas at San Antonio, San Antonio College, Palo Alto College andNorthwest Vista College. The main voting location at the Bexar County Justice Centeroffers DEAFLINK services for the hearing impaired.

The 41 early voting sites will require dozens of poll workers, and nearly 250 were trained by last week.

On Friday, about 425 electronic voting devices were distributed from the Bexar County Elections Department warehouse to the widely scattered polling locations, which include public libraries, schools, community centers and suburban city halls.

About 958,000 residents — also a Bexar County record — are registered to vote. The long midterm ballot, topped by a U.S. Senaterace, includes contests for governor and other statewide offices, seats in the U.S. House and the 2015 Legislature, and numerous local offices. Among the hotly contested races are for the U.S. House District 23 seat and Bexar County judge and district attorney.

BY JOHN W. GONZALEZ : OCTOBER 19, 2014 : Updated: October 19, 2014 9:54pm

jgonzalez@express-news.net

Twitter: johnwgonzalez

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