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Communications and Public Affairs: 207-7234
Published on Monday, November 28, 2011

Historical election results are digitized. Precinct maps, city ordinances and council resolutions going online.

Precinct maps, city
ordinances and council
resolutions going online.

By Josh BauBh

Ever wonder who ran for mayor
of San Antonio in, say, 1931, or how
many people voted in that three-way
Maybe curiosity abounds when it
comes to the May 1993 City Council
Finding the answers to questions
like those used to be an arduous
task that began when someone
would request from the city clerk
specific information from a historical
Then the city's record keepers
would search for the document in a
6O,OOO-square-foot warehouse -
that's larger than a football field -
make copies or take photos of the
document and then give the information to the requestor.
Now it's a lot easier.
The clerk's office has
spent the last six
months digitizing elec·
tion results dating to
1856 and posting them
in a searchable, online
database. Because reo
searchers have included
descriptive information
for each image, users
can type keywords in to
a search engine to find
what they're looking for.
The collection contains
more than 4,500 images
: accessible to anyone
• with the Internet, City
Clerk Leticia Vacek
The city's digital collection
can be found at
clerk! ArchiveSearch/ .
Documents include
election results, precinct
maps, city ordinances
and council resolutions,
officials say. Across all
of the digital collections
currently online, there's
more than 150,000 imago
es, said Tina Flores,
who oversees the ar·
chives. She said her department
still has years

of work ahead as it con·
tinues to add to the dig·
ital collections.
"We're just scanning
in, digitizing, indexing
as fast as we can," she
Vacek said her office
receives a lot of requests
for information
related to elections, a
driving force behind dig·
itizing the collection.
And she said the work
aligns with Mayor Julian
Castro's SA2020
plan, which 'in part
seeks to engage more
voters in elections. Researchers
will continue
to use the historical da·
ta to help better under·
stand voter turnout, she
said .
The mayor said putting
the city online is
good for the public in
more than one way.
"This is part of making
government more
open and transparent,
ensuring that folks have
convenient access to c~ty
records," he said. "(And)
it's a primary goal of
SA2020 to increase voter
turnout in municipal
elections, and providing
scholars and nonprofits
with data they need to
assess the problem is a
good start."

Categories: City Clerk