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Result counting went later this time
San Antonio Express. 08 June 2005 By Elizabeth Allen, Express-News Staff Writer

The choice of paper ballots over electronic votes appeared to slow election results Tuesday night, when 60 percent of the votes were posted by 10:37 p.m. ? and hung there in a hair-close mayoral race, for an hour.

"We're on paper ballots," said Elections Administrator Cliff Borofsky. "It's not as fast as the electronic, but we're OK."

By 11:50, 100 percent of the vote was posted ? 78,375 votes on election day and another 51,616 early votes.

Fifteen thousand more votes were cast Tuesday than in the general election May 7, which used electronic voting technology. Then, all votes had been counted by 10:18 p.m.

The last box to arrive, Borofsky said, was from Nichols Elementary School, where voters lined up late to cast ballots.

A long line of voters in Stone Oak also waited after the polls closed at 7 p.m.

Despite a report that Nichols had run out of ballots, Borofsky said he knew of no precincts in which that happened.

"But we sent extra ballots to about eight or 10 sites," he said.

The city picked paper ballots over an electronic system for the runoff because it cut the cost about in half.

At the time, Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff was incensed that the county would have to go back and forth after upgrading. He was worried that switching might confuse poll workers and voters.

The Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund felt the same, filing a federal lawsuit.

But the city has the right to pick from the available methods under state law. The county maintains some paper ballot technology to handle mail-in and provisional ballots, though it had to rent more machines.

Election workers hand-sorted the paper ballots for the council districts vs. ballots with just mayoral votes. Optical scanners then tabulated the separated ballots.


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