SAN ANTONIO – The voter turnout for the 2022 midterm election was lower than what Bexar County election officials expected — and hoped for — despite a jump in registered voters.
In the Nov. 8 election that determined national, state and local races, 540,565 of 1,230,335 registered voters cast a ballot in Bexar County, or about a 43.94% turnout.
Just more than 359,200 of those votes were cast during the two-week early voting period; 151,385 were made on Election Day and 29,974 were absentee.
“Overall our numbers are still down from 2018,” elections administrator Jacque Callanen said during a news conference late Tuesday.
In the 2018 midterm — when Democrat Beto O’Rourke challenged Republican Ted Cruz for U.S. Senate and lost — Bexar County had a 49.9% turnout. At that time, the county had 1,104,746 total registered voters.
The 2014 midterm election was much lower with only 31.68% of the county’s 959,438 voters casting ballots.
This year’s midterm wasn’t that low, but still, the Nov. 8 turnout was significantly lower than Callanen expected.
Last month, Callanen said they were expecting about 650,000 to 700,000 voters to head to the polls.
In a news conference on Wednesday, Callanen called it overall “a good election.”
“So, again, based on what we’ve all been talking about, we had a lower turnout but we had a much higher registration number,” she said. “So that makes a difference.”
Bexar County voted overwhelmingly blue for the state’s top offices, though Texas’ rural areas pulled red to keep Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and Attorney General Ken Paxton.
Across the state, at least 17 million people were registered to vote in Texas, but only 8 million people voted. That’s less than half.
Political expert Scott Braddock blames turn low turnout on a lack of interest. There was not even one Texas senate race that would change control of the chamber.
Also, Braddock fears the country’s tense political atmosphere could have been a turn off for Texas voters.
“A normal human reaction is to see something disgusted and do something that’s disgusting and be turned off by it and not want anything to do with it,” he said.
To view Bexar County’s unofficial results, click here.