Mayor Ron Nirenberg helps former mayor Lila Cockrell out of a vehicle to so she can place her vote at Lion's Field Adult and Senior Center. Mayor Ron Nirenberg helps former mayor Lila Cockrell out of a vehicle to so she can place her vote at Lion's Field Adult and Senior Center.
Mayor Ron Nirenberg helps former Mayor Lila Cockrell out of a vehicle so she can cast her vote at Lions Field in the municipal elections. Credit: Scott Ball / Rivard Report

After she was turned away from a polling place Wednesday for not having required identification, former San Antonio Mayor Lila Cockrell cast her vote at Lions Field on Friday in the mayoral runoff election between Councilman Greg Brockhouse (D6) and Mayor Ron Nirenberg.

After hearing of the 97-year-old Cockrell’s initial, failed attempt to vote during the election’s early voting period, Nirenberg gave the first female mayor of San Antonio a ride to the polling station.

“I’ve missed very few elections,” Cockrell told the Rivard Report.

The rules surrounding voter identification have changed over the years, and election officials cannot let someone vote if they don’t have proper ID, even if they know who the voter is. On Wednesday, Cockrell was not permitted to vote because she did not have one of the required forms of identification.

On Friday, Cockrell brought additional documents with her along with her voter registration card. She declined to say who got her vote.

“I usually am in favor of a secret ballot,” she said. “I think [Nirenberg is] a very fine person.”

There are seven acceptable forms of identification voters can bring with them to a polling place, including a Texas driver’s license; passport; a personal identification card, Texas Election Identification Certificate, or license to carry a handgun issued by by the Texas Department of Public Safety; U.S. military ID that includes a photo; or a U.S. citizenship certificate with a photo.

In 2017, the Texas Legislature added an amendment to the controversial 2011 voter ID law that granted people the ability to sign a “reasonable impediment declaration” that allows them to bring other identifying documents such as as a paycheck or utility bill.

Early voting in the June 8 runoff, which also includes runoffs for three City Council seats, started Tuesday and continues through June 4. Polls are closed on Sunday.

Lila Cockrell exits the early voting site at Lion's Field Adult and Senior Center after voting successfully.
Former San Antonio Mayor Lila Cockrell exits the early voting site at Lions Field after voting. Credit: Scott Ball / Rivard Report

“It was a unique and memorable experience to drive our mayor emeritus to the polls,” Nirenberg said.

The turnout for early voting has nearly doubled for the runoff compared to the May 4 election, with 36,923 voters casting ballots through Thursday.

Voters in districts 24, and 6 will see Council candidates on their ballot in addition to the mayor’s race. For more information, see the Rivard Report runoff election guide here.

Iris Dimmick

Iris Dimmick

Senior reporter Iris Dimmick covers City Hall, politics, development, and more. Contact her at iris@rivardreport.com