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Nearly 72% of the votes in the Bexar County elections were cast by mail ballot or early voting. Those returns were reported before all the precinct-level Election Day voting results were in, according to the Bexar County elections administrator.
Although some candidates conceded or called their races without all of the votes having been reported, there’s no indication that was because of fraud. Rather, these early election returns made it evident that the races were far from close.
An election night Instagram post suggested races in the San Antonio area were being called prematurely, signaling fraud.
"Many elections in Bexar are being called with 0% of precincts reporting!" the Nov. 8 post said, referring to Bexar County, Texas, which includes San Antonio. "I smell MAJOR FRAUD!"
The post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram.)
We’re not sure what information this poster relied upon. Instagram data shows the post was published at 9:16 p.m. Central Standard Time, more than two hours after the polls in Bexar County closed at 7 p.m.
But a timeline provided by Bexar County elections officials and news coverage from that night show that results from early voting, mail-in ballots and individual precincts were rolling in throughout the evening from just after the polls closed.
And although some candidates may have conceded their races before all the votes were reported, there’s no indication that was because of fraud.
Bexar County Elections Administrator Jacque Callanen told PolitiFact that at 7:05 p.m., her office released results from early voting and mail-in ballots. A document Callanen shared with PolitiFact that showed that first data release said that "0 of 302" precincts were reporting, but nearly 400,000 early and absentee votes were in.
Callanen said candidates who saw 40% to 60% leads in that first wave of results may have decided it made sense to call it.
Sure enough, local news reports show Trish DeBerry, a candidate for Bexar County judge, conceded her race following the first results, based on early voting totals. Television news station KENS5 published video of DeBerry conceding at 8:30 p.m. CST and the San Antonio Express-News tweeted a story at 9:02 p.m. CST, announcing that early vote totals showed DeBerry with 38% of the early votes while her opponent had 59%.
Bexar County elections officials went on to provide precinct result updates at 9:15 p.m., 9:46 p.m., 10:22 p.m. and 11:14 p.m., Callanen said. The final results were published at 12:41 a.m. Nov. 9 and shows that 540,565 people in Bexar voted. Of that, 389,180 people — nearly 72% — participated in early voting or mailed in their ballots. The 151,385 others voted on Election Day.
We find no evidence that early calls in Bexar County races suggested fraud. We rate that claim False.
PolitiFact researcher Caryn Baird contributed to this report.
Instagram post, Nov. 8, 2022
Texas Tribune, It’s Election Day. Here’s what you need to vote in Texas. Nov. 8, 2022
Bexar County Election
San Antonio Express-News tweet, 9:10 p.m. Nov. 8, 2022
San Antonio Express-News tweet, 9:39 p.m. Nov. 8, 2022
San Antonion Express-News Twitter post, 10:51 p.m. Nov. 8, 2022
KENS5 News in San Antonio, Election 2022: Peter Sakai victorious over Trish DeBerry in Bexar County judge race, Nov. 8, 2022
San Antonio Report, 2022 Bexar County Midterm Election Results, accessed Nov. 9, 2022
KSAT News, Watch election day updates from Bexar County Elections Administrator Jacque Callanen, Nov. 8-9, 2022
Phone Interview with Jacque Callanen, Bexar County Elections Administrator, Nov. 10, 2022
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